On Sunday 15th January I was invited to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community New Year Dinner.
The theme of this years New Year Dinner was "Mental well-being and the role of religion". I was asked to speak alongside fellow guest speakers; Kristen Oswald MP, Deputy Lord provost of East Dunbartonshire Collette McDiarmid and Founder of the Charity Time and Space Elaine Weir.
Time and Space is an organisation founded 12 years ago by Elaine and her daughter, Lindsey Miller. Time and Space is a unique service in Glasgow offering support and information to people who hear voices and people who self-harm and their supporters. I was in awe of Elaine and the work she is doing to support people and draw awareness to this important subject.
For me, it was a privilege to be able to reflect on the journey we have all taken in the last 2 years, the incredible support communities like Ahmadiyya have provided in helping people tackle loneliness and the effects covid has had upon the mental well-being of so many.
Hearing from Imam Humayon Jahangeerkhan, Imam Bait Ur Rahman Mosque, Glasgow and
Chairman Dr Abdul Hayee, Regional President for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Scotland, and seeing the passion they have to support not just the Ahmadiyya community but the wider community of Glasgow as a whole was inspiring.
Mental well-being and religion has for too long often been a taboo subject and it is important to have events like this to break down those barriers and begin the conversation.