Today is World Mental Health Day.
Eight years ago I was sacked from my job as a parish priest by a Church of England bishop because I had suffered from clinical depression. I was recovering well and perfectly capable of carrying out all my priestly duties but the bishop believed that any person who suffered from mental health problems should never be a parish priest. My dismissal followed eight years of bigotry and prejudice from the Church hierarchy that would have been illegal if I had been working for a secular organisation.
Throughout the world, in all occupations and institutions, people who have mental health problems face ignorance, hatred and prejudice every day of their lives. As my own experience proves, this happens even within the faith traditions, even within the Christian church which claims that it welcomes everyone.
Please pray for people who have mental health problems, please pray for me and for an end to the taboos and hatred that exclude the mentally ill from being full members of our communities and prevent us from following our callings.