Lennoxville United Church to host service for mental health
By Matthew McCully
This Sunday, Oct. 29, Lennoxville United Church will host a special service for mental health.
Rev. Ron Coughlin will lead the service, which will focus on mental wellbeing and feature music and prayer, as well as a personal reflection by local Daniel Miller about his struggles with mental illness.
A statement at the top of the programme for Sunday sums up the motivation for the special service:
“Going to a counselor or a therapist when you are feeling sad or overwhelmed should be as normal as going to the doctor when you have the flu. Let’s end the stigma around mental health!”
The service is one of three special events hosted by Lennoxville United each year.
There is a service of hope about cancer/illness, a pride service in June, and the upcoming mental health service, always the last Sunday in October.
Miller, a professor at Bishop’s and singer, is not a member of the congregation, but was asked by member Jamie Crooks to sing as part of an octet for a service of hope in 2017. The following year, he shared his story about mental health in a series of articles submitted by Mental Health Estrie for Mental Illness Awareness Week in The Record. When Lennoxville United decided to host a special service focused on mental health, members reached out to Miller, who has been involved ever since and now sits on the steering committee.
The first service took place in 2019, led by then Minister Linda Buchanan.
“It’s overwhelming,” Miller said, when asked how to address a room full of people, all of whom carry a different weight on their shoulders.
There is war, climate anxiety, financial stress, political rhetoric on peoples’ minds (to name just a few).
According to Coughlin, it’s important to recognize what’s going on and talk about it, “the fact that there’s a war in Israel with Hamas, and about the war in Ukraine, and about how that causes people to have anxiety and worry,” he said, “we put our trust that God is with us through all this, and that this will pass as well.”