This week, parishes across Australia are encouraged to observe National Mental Health Awareness Week, the ACBC Media Blog reports.
Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Terence Brady, the Bishops' delegate for Disability Issues, wrote to parishes yesterday – World Mental Health Day – to invite them to promote mental health awareness in their communities. National Mental Health Awareness Week will conclude on Sunday.
In the letter, Bishop Brady writes the Church has sought to acknowledge the week "as an opportunity to encourage a true pastoral view that embraces our total community as the living Body of Christ".
"To be authentic, this view must include every member of the community acknowledging their call, their gift and their presence. We cannot claim to be truly disciples of Jesus unless we are totally engaged in honouring his presence in each one, and in building and nurturing this community to be a living witness of that presence," Bishop Brady wrote.
"Clearly this is a revealed truth that is fundamental to our sense of our own real value. Just as clearly this truth should be so evident in our lived experience that others are drawn to know, understand and experience the Father's love that Jesus reveals.
"People living with mental health challenges, are no less members of the Body of Christ than anyone else. Obviously there are particular challenges to enabling their full participation in the life of the community.
"Some of these challenges are visible and many others not so clearly identified. Once we acknowledge these challenges we can work together to ensure that all the gifts that flow through the Body of Christ can be shared by each member of that Body.
"It is also a reminder to look after our own wellbeing, especially our spiritual wellbeing. How are we nourishing our wellbeing through our spirituality?"
Parishes were also sent resources to promote mental health awareness.
World Mental Health Day (ACBC Media Blog)
Mental Health Week resources (ACBC)