East Side Congregational UCC Celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Did you know that approximately 61.5 million Americans experience mental illness each year? Throughout the month of May, East Side Congregational UCC in Binghamton, will bear witness to mental health through a display on its front lawn. As you know, the statistics, and countless others like them, point to real, beautiful, God-loved people. People who have hopes and dreams. People who have needs and desires. People who were created and born by God's grace and love. Therefore, as an "Open and Affirming" congregation, East Side Congregational church members believe it's vital to not only promote mental wellness, but to also recognize and walk with the many people suffering from mental illness today; especially since there is still a stigma attached to brain disorders.
As you well know, time and time again in the gospels, Jesus finds his way to those who are in isolation and invites them to live once again in community. He models for us an openness to all types of stigmatized people. So as members of this body of Christ, may we not only continue to do the same, but to get better at it. To quote NAMI, "People living with mental illness need help and hope: they need a community that supports them, their families, and their recovery." May we always embrace those who struggle with mental illness. May we always reach out to those who are feeling isolated. And may we always provide for them a safe and hope-filled community-and perhaps some healing as well.