02 July 2014
Get serious about mental health, young Methodists urge Church
Young Methodists are challenging the Church to take mental health issues seriously, and are calling for children's and youth workers to receive relevant training.
The Children and Youth Assembly report, which was presented to
the Methodist Conference today, highlighted this as a key area of
concern for young people within the Church.
Presenting the report to the Conference, Methodist Youth President Tamara Wray said, "The Church is good at caring for people when they go through tough times. But Christians often don't know how to respond to people suffering from mental health problems or what kind of support they can offer. Jesus was passionate about caring for the whole person - mind, body and spirit - and we should be too."
The Assembly, also known as 3Generate, annually brings together children and young people aged 8-23 from across Great Britain. At the event in November last year, 99% of people in the 11-18 age stream said they wanted the Church to educate them about mental health, focusing on how such issues impact young people. Additionally, 96% expressed an interest in wanting to learn more about mental health so they could be alert to the warning signs and ready to support others.
The report recommends that all people employed as children's and youth workers with the Church should undergo training on mental health issues. Work is already under way on a resource for youth workers to help them talk about mental health with young people. The Conference also directed that guidance should be given urgently as to where material that might be helpful to youth workers and young people is already available.
The report also highlights the importance of building strong inter faith relationships in communities and recommends that Methodists take proactive steps to foster positive dialogue with people of other faiths.