Interfaith Service 2019 | News and Events

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Interfaith Service 2019

The World Mental Health Day Interfaith Service 2019 emerged out of the GM Health + Social Care Interfaith Working group. An interfaith network of faith representatives whose vision is for the health and social care agencies to work collaboratively with faith communities across GM to address mental health inequalities. Where faith communities struggle to engage with statutory services, where faith communities struggle to be open about mental ill health and where the stigma and shame of mental illness perpetuates across faith communities, the interfaith network serves to make viable connections and shared openness.

The World Mental Health Day Interfaith Service 2019 was convened by GMMH Chaplaincy in collaboration with health and social care agencies. Faith members from Faith Network for Manchester helped to plan the service and Adele Owen from the Health + Social Care Partnership 'Suicide Prevention Programme' was invited to speak. The 10th October marked the last day of the month of Hope – starting on 10th September – with a series of initiatives to highlight the needs of people and families across GM affected by suicide and the resources available to help people struggling with suicidal thoughts. The event opened at 6.30pm with refreshments and opportunity for people to browse through the stalls and make connections.

The service itself was a wonderfully rich array of different groups, expressing their rituals, prayers, songs, meditations and music that essentially expressed the contribution that faith makes to our daily need for balance and mental well-being. Whether this was a chant or a prayer or a silent meditation, each person and their faith shared something of their inherited narrative that alongside the presence of another person or group from a different religion eloquently expressed the common human ground that we stand upon and the simple need we all have to find peace and connection to others in our daily lives.

The World Mental Health Day Interfaith Service 2019  was born out a simple vision – for faith communities to collaborate with health and social agencies. Why? To address the mental health inequalities that we increasingly recognise in our midst and in doing so to build a stronger society. We are Manchester. We are stronger together. At the end of the evening Adele Owen from the Partnership stated that she had made two new contacts at the event and that she would be going to talk to two new faith groups about mental health and specifically suicide prevention. 

We are already making a difference. 

Reverend Jeremy Law, Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Coordinator at GMMH

Find out more about our Chapliancy Service here.

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