ADRA-UK Highlights Well-being During Mental Health Awareness Week
23rd May 2018
Think too of all who suffer as if you shared their pain. Hebrews 13:1 (Phillips)
As a humanitarian charity, ADRA-UK adheres to the 17 sustainable development goals set by the United Nations both for the developing and the developed world. Last week, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, we focused on Sustainable Goal 3 to 'ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages'.
Did you know that in 2015, nearly 800,000 people committed suicide worldwide and that men are twice as likely to do so than women?
Our immediate response to this is that the statistics are shocking. And rightly so! But behind the data and the research are real people whose families are so often devastated because they 'missed the signs' of poor mental health or who feel that they were unable to prevent such a tragedy, not to mention the immense grief.
On our Facebook page, we used the graphic from the Mental Health Foundation entitled, Stress: Are we coping? Along with many other agencies, we would like to highlight the fact that good mental health is essential to 'promote well-being'. Increasingly humanitarian agencies are focusing not only on development issues such as food security, clean water, education and the elimination of poverty or disaster relief, in emergencies and crisis, they are also concerned with psychosocial support.
So, what is psychosocial support? It is an approach that assists individuals and communities to heal the psychological scars that they have encountered after a humanitarian disaster or 'critical' event in addition to the rebuilding of social structures within a community. When effectively applied, it can transform individuals to become 'active survivors' instead of 'passive victims'. 
Early and appropriate psychosocial intervention can help to prevent distress becoming severe, assist individuals to reconcile to their current situations, help those affected to resume some degree of normality, all tailored to respect the local customs in respect of mental health.
As we reflect on our own mental health and the issues and challenges that we face on a daily basis, let us give some thought to the millions who suffer not only physically but mentally when disasters strike. We are our 'brother's keeper' whether that family member is our next-door neighbour, who we sit and converse with over a daily cup of tea, or someone who we have met, but who has humanity in common with us and God as our Father.
If you would like to find out about more about the work of ADRA-UK in humanitarian crisis or support us financially, please go to www.adra.org.uk or go to our Facebook page Adventist Development and Relief Agency UK.
[Catherine Anthony Boldeau]