Statement by the Bishops of Malta and Gozo on World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day, which is observed on the 10th October, is an international day with the objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.
Facing mental health challenges may be very difficult for the persons involved and their families. Such issues still carry a great stigma. People with mental health problems may be seen as weak-willed and may come to believe this themselves. Some may feel isolated from their community, and perhaps even from God. The reality is that mental health problems can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, gender, background, income etc. During periods of anxiety and social isolation, such as the present COVID-19 pandemic, these problems have definitely been intensified.
We would like to share with people who are facing such problems and their families, the strength and encouragement given by God. Far from being a burden on others, they are a vital part of the Body of Christ, with a special role that can only be fulfilled by them. In Christ, the areas in our life where we feel powerless become the areas where God can work in us and also become a source of strength for others. St Paul wrote that the Lord told him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).
The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is “Mental Health for All: Greater Investment – Greater Access”. We would like to encourage greater investment in mental health, particularly during this global health emergency and thereafter, so that no one is left behind.
On this day, we pray that all people with mental health problems will always be welcomed, included, and given support, especially within the Church, the People of God, where every member is cherished. We pray that we will always be willing to accompany anyone who may be going through a difficult time and we also ask God to help us to work for a society where all people are cherished and the dignity of every human being is respected.
✠Charles Jude Scicluna
Archbishop of Malta
President of the Maltese Episcopal Conference
Bishop of Gozo
Auxiliary Bishop of Malta