Lessons from Lockdown: Mental Health Matters

Listen to the message here:

Romans 8:38 (NLT) “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life neither angels nor demons neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.”

We are fragile beings. Our mental health is fragile. Lockdown has showed us that only too well. Anxiety, depression and suicide rates have rocketed. 

Here in the UK, according to a report by BBC news, depression rates have doubled with one in five reporting symptoms in August 2020 compared with one in ten this time last year. Reported levels are higher in the USA, according to forbes.com, who also state that 25% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have considered suicide because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Washington Post state that “the coronavirus pandemic is pushing America into a mental health crisis.”

Even before the crisis, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the US, with approximately 123 people dying every day. In the UK in 2018, there were 6,507 deaths by suicide (according to mentalhealth.org.uk) with men accounting for three-quarters of those deaths. The situation is improving, as only 49% of the population had felt anxious in the second week of June compared to 62% in mid-March. 

Depression and anxiety follows no logic. You cannot understand how or why it affects individuals. Nobody is immune. No matter how much you can try to talk yourself out of being anxious or depressed, it can make very little difference. Having said that, so-called ‘talking therapies’ can be seen to help. It’s not that you find answers or even an understanding, it’s often the very act of talking about your feelings that helps to release and somehow bring some resolution.

And there is no-one better to talk to than your Creator – God Himself. Loneliness is a reality for many, especially during lockdown; but God is always there, ready to listen. Having a faith in Christ, in itself, doesn’t give you any immunity from depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts; but it does give you a belief that there is some One who listens to you. He may not bring you healing or even a relief from how you feel, but He is always there to listen. 

If you don’t have a faith in God, you can talk to Him anyway. If you have nobody else to talk to right now, you have nothing to lose. Why not just give it a try? Who knows – He might even answer you! You see, God loves us, and He does sometimes heal; God does sometimes bring answers to your situation – whatever they may be; God does sometimes answer prayer in a profound and noticeable way. It might not be something you have experienced in the past, but that doesn’t mean it cannot happen. Nothing can separate us from God’s love – nothing; nobody and nothing. None of those things mentioned above – death nor life, angels nor demons, our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – and not even Coronavirus. Nothing will separate us from God’s love. 

May we pray: Thank You, Lord, that You love us and are always there to listen to us. In our fragility, over these difficult days of the Coronavirus crisis when our mental health has suffered, we ask that You hear our prayer. We ask that you surprise us with an answer, and with healing and relief from our suffering. We ask this in the precious name of our Saviour, Christ Jesus; Amen. 

If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts, we would like to pray for you – please get in touch. Don’t struggle on alone. May God Bless You.

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