World Mental Health Day: Manchester
To mark World Mental Health Day on Saturday 10 October, Manchester Diocese is joining with organisations all over the world in raising awareness of what can be done to ensure that people with mental health problems can live with dignity.
‘Telling our Stories’ is a special service at Manchester Cathedral that will acknowledge and affirm the one in four people who experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime. During the service a number of people will share their own stories of mental illness, the impact their faith has had and the support (or otherwise) they have received.
The Ven Cherry Vann, Archdeacon of Rochdale, who has helped organise the service, said “Mental illness can affect any one of us at any time and yet it continues to carry with it a sense of stigma and shame, forcing many to suffer in silence. We hope that ‘Telling our Stories’ will help people to understand mental illness and encourage individuals, organisations and faith communities to work together to ensure that those affected will be given the care, respect and support they need.”
The service takes place 12pm-2pm on Saturday 10 October at Manchester Cathedral. All welcome.
“Poor mental health has been part of my life just about as long as I can remember with my mood regularly swinging from feelings of elation to those of extreme despair. In my 20s I was mis-diagnosed with depression/anxiety and earlier this year that diagnosis changed to Bipolar II Disorder and Panic Disorder.
“I began attending church in the early 1990s. Over the years I have had prayers said to rid me of evil spirits; I have been told that if I truly confessed of my sins then the depression would go; there has been the ‘pull yourself together’ brigade; but probably the worst was being told my illness was not compatible with my role as a minister.
“However, since January I have practically lived at St Luke’s in Ardwick. In my opinion (and I may be biased) it is the best mental health project in Manchester. Through the art group, drop-ins, counselling, massage therapy and of course the church, I have discovered a home - a place where, with all my highs and lows, I am accepted, loved and valued. A safe place where I am slowly discovering what it means to be me – a beloved child of God.”