Hosted by Mind (the mental health charity) in Harrow, members of various local faith groups came together on Friday 17 November to embrace mental wellbeing during Interfaith Week.
It was a relaxed and welcoming session that encouraged us to talk about what makes us happy, how the 5 Ways to Wellbeing relate to our own faith, outlook or personal philosophy, and to share our own favourite quotes and inspiring stories from our own culture.
Scientific studies have shown that happiness will increase when we follow the 5 Ways to Wellbeing: (i) Connect; (ii) Be active; (iii) Keep learning; (iv) Help others; (v) Taking notice.
I found that the session was a wonderful space for connection and a place to enjoy common ground with members of other faith groups. Discussions led to the surfacing of some great gems from the Jain faith such as “athithi devo bhava” (translates to “a guest is God”) and the cultivation of qualities such as universal friendship, appreciation of others’ virtues, compassion for the suffering and equanimity for behaviours we might otherwise struggle to deal with.
This interfaith and wellbeing coffee morning arose from a three day training course I had attended in September for Community Wellbeing Champions, again run by the Mind in Harrow Bridging Cultures project. It was such a joy to meet my fellow course mates from within the local community, continuing to strengthen bonds we had formed in the initial training course.
Keep a look out for other mental health and wellbeing events taking place in the Harrow area over the coming months. These are being run by fellow course mates who are themselves inspiring and dedicated volunteers and professionals.
A fond thank you to the team at Bru Coffee and Gelato for providing a homely space for us and to Emily Danby (Bridging Cultures Coordiator at Mind in Harrow) for organising such a wonderful coffee morning and for treating us all to a coffee!