Equipped to Care Manual
Dr. Stephen Bradley, Ray Clarke and Linda Rowett
God is the source and ultimate expression of love; even to the extent of providing His Son as a sacrifice in order to restore an ongoing relationship with man and reveal His character and nature. Man so needs that connection with God to find purpose and value in life, without it despair and hopelessness can so easily result. The body of Christ, the Church, can represent God’s love, purpose and character to a hurting world if it reflects God’s heart. To do this we need not only to understand, hear and respond to the broken, but to be ‘being healed’ and made whole ourselves in an ongoing way.
In Ireland, there are approximately 400-500 suicides per annum. A conservative estimate suggests that there are at least 60,000 cases of self-harm occurring per year; most of these going unreported. Samaritans Ireland responds to approximately one call for help every minute.
On Christmas Day alone, Childline in Ireland receives somewhere in the region 1100-1200 calls for help from young people. 1 in 4 of us are estimated to suffer from some sort of ‘mental health issue’ in any given year. However, a ‘mental health issue’ is not necessarily the same thing as ‘mental illness’. For example, one mental health service evaluation in Ireland found that approximately two thirds of those referred were not subsequently diagnosed as ‘mentally ill’, but were struggling with ‘psychosocial issues’ such as alcohol and drug overuse, relationship problems, financial crisis amongst others.