It’s here! Mental Health Awareness Week is upon us and this year the national focus in “Surviving or Thriving?” and we’ve decided to take this theme a little further and think about how to move beyond survival and look to living life to the full in the way Jesus speaks about – regardless of whether you have a mental illness.

We really want to encourage you that you don’t have to put up with merely treading water, life doesn’t have to just be about getting through the day. Mental illness doesn’t need to be a death sentence – and so this week we’re going to be looking at ways we can embrace a full life.

This isn’t about a prosperity-gospel style “life with Jesus means no pain and all the gain” because when I look at the Bible I don’t see that. I only need to look at the Psalms to see exclamations of joy sitting beside cries of desolation because the promise of Jesus in John 10:10 is that whilst “the thief comes only to steal and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” There’s a recognition in this verse that the darkness does come, but that it doesn’t have the last word and we believe that through God’s people we can bring life to the barren places – whether that be through the love of a community getting together to serve someone struggling or through friends cheering one another on, this week we’re asking you to get involved and show that there can be #MoreThanSurvival in mental illness.

If you want to get involved, use the hashtag on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show us what you’re doing to demonstrate #MoreThanSurvival in your own life or in the life of someone you know.

Some ideas could be:

  • Sending flowers to a loved one in hospital because of mental illness to show them that you can and that there is still beauty in the world.
  • Having a whip round to pay for petrol or parking so that someone can be visited by friends or family when they either live far away or are in a hospital far from home.
  • Buy a iTunes gift card or a month of spotify so that if someone is housebound they can at least access some worship music.
  • Visit someone and play their favourite board game.
  • Making sure you get out of the house once a day.
  • Cooking your favourite meal for dinner.
  • FaceTiming a friend.

Happy Mental Health Awareness Week everyone and here’s to the promise that even in the hardest of times there is #MoreThanSurvival to life.