Some cool mental health resources images:
Time for a coffee.
I agreed to give a talk at a World Mental Health Day event in Ealing Town Hall. As someone who has struggled with clinical depression and anxiety for over 30 years, I was there as a patient representative, talking about my own experience, and about the resources and services available.
Day eighty-five/365. Every community has them: marginalized people. Dirty or clean, wary about people, and often dealing with mental health issues, they’re around. And, they come to churches, hoping we can help them with food, lodging, cash, or even laundry.
Nearly every day, we encounter such poor souls. They’re absolutely shocked when I tell them that I don’t have funds to help the numerous individuals and families that seek basic support. Yesterday, my day off, one of our church members actually put a transient woman in her own car and drove her, unaccompanied, to a motel. She paid for the woman’s stay and then came to me, seeking reimbursement. We had a discussion about boundaries, and the wisdom of helping in the way that she did.
As a church, we need to have a continuing discussion about our role with transients. Within walking distance, there’s no place to send them for help. But, what about our responsibility to protect the children in our preschool when marginalized folks come through our door midday?
It seems to me that we should do it right, or not do it at all. Commit energy and resources to becoming a food bank, or simply tell everyone that we cannot help them.
Why are marginalized people attracted to churches in the first place? Can churches, with their meager resources, make a difference?