Hey everyone! It’s that time of the month again! Here is another Women of Faith interview!! Inspired by World Mental Health Day that was on October 10th, I sat down with Isha and discussed mental health…
What is a woman of faith to you?
Isha: A woman of faith is someone who leans not on their own understanding, their life. They give God all the good, the bad and the ugly and they trust in his divine timing and his divine will for their life and those around her.
How do you think the church can deal with mental health issues better, if it needs to be dealt with better?
Isha: I believe that the church does need to deal with mental health issues better in terms of being able to identify the difference between something that is physical and something that is spiritual.
There is not always very clear distinction between the two. For example, someone could have some form of depression or some form of bipolar disorder and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are drunk on the spirit or they’ve committed a sin.
It could actually be having to look at their diet or sleeping pattern and just being a lot more practical about how a person is doing their day-to-day life.
I think that the church should also become a lot more open to advising people to seek proper medical guidance or medical help if they are feeling a particular way over a long period of time. I believe that the church should encourage more people to go into different spheres of the medical arena (such as social work, psychiatrists, counsellors, therapists etc) to help those within the house. Also, to help people become more aware of biblical counselling and what Christian counselling looks like as well.
What advice would you give to someone if they feel like they’re struggling with mental health issues or know someone that is struggling with mental health issues in the church?
Isha: I believe that the first point of call is to speak to your small group leader or a pastor and to do your own research into your symptoms. Go and see your GP and see if they provide you with any assistance and contact your local MIND charity as they give free talk counselling. I would also recommend The Perfectionist by Will van der Hart, who is at HTB. You can also look up HTB’s depression course. There are resources available inside the church and outside the church. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
What is burnout and how should we deal with it? Whether it’s caused from day-to-day life or serving in church
Isha: What I have understood burnout to be is beyond just tiredness. Sometimes we can take holidays, annual leave, sleep late on a Saturday and if you recover from that, that is not burnout. Burnout is when everything is ok medically in terms of you blood count, iron levels, everything is good that way. Burnout is when you haven’t got the emotional, physical or mental energy to do everyday tasks. This is beyond just adulting or laziness. Burnout can also be when you don’t want to be around friends, family and your church community. You haven’t got any energy for anything. Everything seems like a mammoth task.
So how do you recover from burn out? TAKE TIME. It can take between 6 months to 2 years to fully recover from burn out so you might have to make adjustments in your life. Whether that is less caffeine, sleeping earlier, changing your diet, exercise, changing your patterns of work, maybe moving from self-employment to being employed or vice versa. You might also have to let go of some of your commitments within serving in church in order that you make a full recovery but the most important thing is to take care of yourself completely with what God has ordained us. In Matthew (11:28-30), Jesus says “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened, take on my yoke which is easy and light.” So prayer is really important and having a really good supportive community around you too.
Who is your sHero?
Isha: My shero is Deborah from Judges 4. The reason why she is my shero is because after a line of judges that God had appointed, she was the first female judge. I love that she’s in such an authoritative position and that she uses wisdom to guide the people of Israel. Also, that she collaborated with men in order to get victory.
The list of resources mentioned are listed here
Feel free to contact Isha at this address: Ishawebber@gmail.com