Time for change- World Mental Health Day

It is thought that 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year. From this, mixed anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorder and this is only in the UK alone. Globally, according to the World Health Organisation in 2001, it is estimated that approximately 450 million people have a mental health problem with nearly one million people committing suicide every year. This is a figure that has been expected to grow, as this figure was released 12 years ago. These are figures that just simply cannot be ignored.

Unfortunately, there are many parts of the world who believe that mental health and mental disorders are not accorded anywhere the same importance as physical health, leading to people who suffer from this, feeling ignored or neglected. Mental health has been concealed behind a curtain of stigma and inequity for far too long. It is time to bring it out into the open emphasize that having a mental illness is not a sign of weakness. Mental health is a global issue and no group is immune from a mental disorder.

To make a difference this needs to be a global effort; individuals, family, media, non-governmental organisations, mental health professionals, science institutions, policy makers and governments, private sectors, foundations, communities, everyone can contribute. It is time that we become as one in making a difference.

Within the Methodist church there are resources also available for ministers about Wellbeing which provides you with advice, ‘unpacking’ the importance of wellbeing and a deeper understand of the term. There is also a toolkit available which looks specifically into keeping a work and life balance in a simplistic way.  If you would like to discuss any wellbeing issue please contact Tony Tidey, Wellbeing Officer on wellbeing@methodistchurch.org.uk or 020 7467 5192.
A personal letter from Former British heavyweight champion Boxer Frank Bruno:

Hello and greetings to you all

I have been asked to put together a few words concerning Mental Health issues.

I have had bi polar for a number of years however possibly in the 70’s and 80’s it was not necessarily known as a mental health issue just “oh Bruno’s a bit strange at times”. However when you are a relatively successful sportsperson especially one who the public seem to like, you are allowed your own strange ways. It was in 2003 that my bipolar was identified and I had a well documented sectioning where The Sun newspaper ran a front page story calling me Bonkers this was later retracted and they have not stopped apologising ever since. In 2012 again I had a bad case of bi polar and was sectioned twice. I now have had to accept that I will take some sort of medication the rest of my life.


I am concerned of the treatment that mental health patients receive not only from the medical people but the perceived viewpoint from the public. If  I am in my car singing people think I am nuts if I am happy and laughing I am concerning that people think I am ill again. This is all wrong. If you are a sufferer or have a relative or friend that has mental health issues please ask for help do not suffer or let your loved one suffer. I have been there and I am making a nuisance of my self trying to help the stigma of mental health. I have put together my 12 rounds of fighting Mental Health see my website.


All organisations involved with combating mental health need to unite as a strong unit to fight this problem. Please will you also help fight the cause. I am not a deeply religious man however my bible is never far away and  I do pray and your organisation will be in my prayers and I also ask that you remember me in your prayers.


Please feel free to write to my website and support this mental health battle, join me on twitter and face book I have just started facebook and could do with a few more friends. Finally your youth president Tamara Wray who asked me to write these words has got mental health on her agenda. Please support her and what ever she does to try and identify mental Health issues and how we all can try and help those who suffer and just as importantly those who are trying to care for the sufferers.


God Bless


Frank Bruno

 twitter @frankbrunoboxer



The United Kingdom and its multicultural beauty

The term interfaith simply means relating to, or involving persons of different faith. Although this is a term that is simplistic in its definition, in practice this is sometimes sadly not the case. 

One of the beautiful aspects about the United Kingdom is that it is highly diverse and we are beautifully multicultural. A game that I often play on the London double decker is "guess the language"- something that I'm not very good at might I add! I have learnt more about culture on the streets of London than I can find out in any book on the subject. Consequently, as we embrace the different cultures that make us unique as a nation, this also means we also subconsciously embrace people of different faiths. 

Originally from Hertfordshire, during my childhood I barely knew people of different faiths. I naively assumed that everyone woke up on a Sunday morning at attend church for the Sunday service and that 25th December was a day of celebration for everyone. I didn't realise at that point that I was the only viewing the world through black and white tinted glasses. My eyes were opened to the beautiful colours of our nation when I moved to London for university. 

It was in London that I was faced with the reality that people are free to embrace their faith and religion in whichever they want. Although this was very foreign to me I quickly adapted to the situation that I was placed in, I can now truly say that some of my friends and loved ones are of a different faith. It was also at university that I realised how easy it was to work/be closed to others of different faiths. Although during my own walk with God I briefly converted to Islam, being an active member of the Christian Union, we were heavily involved with the Islamic society, whose prayer room was minutes away from the chapel that we had at university. We connected as we all had a vision that was faith led and because of this there was mutual understanding, although at times there were heated debates about the big questions of life! 

My own experiences have made me more rounded as a person and arguably I haven't worked as closely of people of other faiths except Islam, I now know how easy it is to work closely with people of other beliefs.

What broke my heart is when I switched on the news last week to discover the merciless executions in Kenya, India and the attacks on the church in Syria, amongst others. Although admittedly these people absolutely do not represent Islam and these are purely acts of terrorism. For anyone who knows the pillars of Islam would know that it is a faith of peace and love for others. It is evident that these terrorists have a lot to learn from the United Kingdom and other countries who accept and embrace multicultural relationships. In any religion the killings of innocent people is absolutely abhorrent and is not condonable. 

It is time that people of all beliefs unite together against terrorism, as on our own we are strong but together we will be a force to be reckoned with. As mentioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta as top Christian, Hindu and Muslim clerics joined together for a multi faith prayer service for the 67 victims of the Westgate shopping centre attack, "faith is one thing in 100 different languages, that's why faith unites us". This was also evident as an "Muslim born business owner testified that he had "never seen this type of love before" as he reflected on the churches efforts to support him.  So let's join together with our brothers and sisters of different faiths and love thy neighbour as God has commanded us to do.