Report on Big Mental Health Day, 10th October 2015, by Julian Wood

Report on Big Mental Health Day, 10th October 2015, by Julian Wood

Programme of the day:


I very much enjoyed attending this day for the Mental Wellbeing Concern. I was nervous beforehand that the evangelical Christian groups organising the day would make the material and discussions difficult to stomach as a Quaker.

I was wrong about it. The message from the whole day was that people in church communities have a clear and caring understanding of mental health. Rob Waller started off the day by saying that every one of the 500-plus attendees probably have experienced mental ill-health or know someone intimately who has. All the main speakers spoke of their own struggles with mental health. They also stressed that all Christians are struggling with their own mental and emotional health.

I attended an interesting session on Pastoral Care, i.e. how to support people in Christian communities with mental health issues. It was stressed that mental health issues are in many ways like physical health issues. They may be short-term or long-term, acute or less acute, and permanently damaging or not. Most importantly, Christians experiencing mental ill-health should be encouraged to take medication, just as those with physical illnesses would.

I was greatly encouraged by the people I met in the breaks, too. Many were evangelical Christians, with a strong Bible-based faith, yet cared deeply for their fellow Christians (and non-Christians!). There were many mental health professionals who showed a clear passion for translating their practical training into better practice, and finding a way to bring their faith into their work without having to convert or force Christianity on anyone.

A final message from the day was that we can all help those in distress. We need not be qualified to do this. People with mental health issues want to be accepted for who they are and how they are feeling. They want to be part of society, and church can play a central role in their recovery. They want to contribute as well as be helped.


Art Log


14.1.15 I learnt about the 1950s New York School of arts and poets

New words

Photo credit: seier+seier via / CC BY

Crepuscular- active at dawn and at night
indolent- lazy


Hamster Tips


Photo credit: Nuwandalice via / CC BY-NC-ND

Start playing with them early afternoon, not late morning

You can

tell sex by looking from behind- male’s hindquarters are tapered, female’s more rounded


Sweets? Never

Too cold? Move to warmer room

Gnawing at cage? Boredom

Soiling? Clean out more often

Too much food stored? Overfeeding him