Love and a dignified life for those suffering from mental conditions

Getting started:
I choose a quiet environment and take a comfortable position in order to prepare myself for prayer. I become aware of my body: am I feeling restless, anxious, worried? If so, I try to calm myself down. I breathe deeply while becoming aware of God’s loving gaze upon me and on those around me.

Short story:
John is a 60 year old gentleman who suffers from depression. He usually feels down and is very negative about his life situation. John usually does not have the energy to do anything productive and depends on social benefits to survive. He is generally shabby and sometimes even smells. He spends his day walking around the village and talking to his neighbours and the people he meets. Some people laugh at him and make fun of him but others speak to him normally and give him attention. His brothers and sisters have supported him as best they could so far, however now they are getting on in years and their own health is deteriorating, the support they can offer John is dwindling. His family is worried about future care…

Time to reflect:
What do you think will happen to John if his brothers and sisters were to stop taking care of him?
Do you know of anyone who lives in circumstances similar to John?

Let us pray:
Dear Lord, grant that people with mental health problems may encounter individuals in their daily lives who provide them with the love, acceptance and encouragement that they need to move on in life.

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty”
Mother Theresa

Hands on:
During this coming week I will try to be attentive to the people I meet and to be aware of their feelings and emotions.
I will smile to one person whom I suspect to have mental health problems. I will greet that person and pray for him/her at the end of the day so that s/he may feel accepted.
I will inform a friend or a family member about this intention and invite them to be similarly kind