Get serious about mental health, young Methodists urge Church

  • Methodist Children and Youth Assembly Report
  • Watch the 3Generate video

Young Methodists are challenging the Church to take mentalhealth issues seriously, and are calling for children's and youthworkers to receive relevant training.

The Children and Youth Assembly report, which was presented tothe Methodist Conference today, highlighted this as a key area ofconcern for young people within the Church. 

Presenting the report to the Conference, Methodist Youth PresidentTamara Wray said, "The Church is good at caring for people whenthey go through tough times. But Christians often don't know how torespond to people suffering from mental health problems or whatkind of support they can offer. Jesus was passionate about caringfor the whole person - mind, body and spirit - and we should betoo."

The Assembly, also known as 3Generate, annually brings togetherchildren and young people aged 8-23 from across Great Britain. At the event in November last year, 99% of people in the11-18 age stream said they wanted the Church to educate them aboutmental health, focusing on how such issues impact young people.Additionally, 96% expressed an interest in wanting to learn moreabout mental health so they could be alert to the warning signs andready to support others.

The report recommends that all people employed as children's andyouth workers with the Church should undergo training on mentalhealth issues. Work is already under way on a resource for youthworkers to help them talk about mental health with young people.The Conference also directed that guidance should be given urgentlyas to where material that might be helpful to youth workers andyoung people is already available.

The report also highlights the importance of building stronginter faith relationships in communities and recommends thatMethodists take proactive steps to foster positive dialogue withpeople of other faiths.