On World Mental Health Day, hundreds of church leaders, mental health professionals and members of the public came together for The BIG Mental Health Day hosted by Livability and Premier Mind and Soul.
Around 500 people attended the conference at St Paul’s Church in Hammersmith, London
The one day conference was held in London and encouraged the conversation around how to support those experiencing mental health problems as well as how to look after your own wellbeing.
There were sessions which covered a range of issues including dementia, surviving leadership in the Church and the Church’s relationship with the NHS.
In his keynote, Mind & Soul director Will Van den Hart highlighted that the period that people support others with their mental health problems is the same time they are most likely to be experiencing problem themselves.
Assistant Director of Community Engagement Corin Pilling said in his keynote on build inclusive communities:
‘In my experience a community should be built on stability, diversity and honesty.
‘What we’re looking to build is a church community where your participation is far more important than your perfection, and if you’re bringing your whole self to the table we should ask no more than that.’
Co-host and Livability Associate Katharine Welby-Roberts and Mind & Sould directors Kate Middleton and Rob Waller also unveiled an expansion of the Mental Health Access Pack which launched earlier this year. The online resource is a one-stop shop for those who are looking for information to understand and support others who are experiencing mental health problems.
Kate, Katharine and Rob announce the expansion of the Mental Health Access Pack
There was also space for people to share their own experiences with mental health and discuss how church can develop the ways in which they can build inclusive communities.
Speaking on how we can look at supporting ourselves and those in our community, co-host Haydon Spenceley highlighted:
‘We are encouraged to love our neighbour as ourself but loving ourselves can be the hard part and although we find it difficult, we need to also allow others to treat you as their neighbour and to love you.’
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