Farsight is a UK based charity that aims to increase awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health within African and African-Caribbean churches. We do this by equipping church leaders to talk about mental health with their congregations, and create mental health friendly environments in which everyone can learn and worship freely.
Why do we do this? Because we passionately believe that as Christians we have an important role to play in supporting those who are suffering. Recent research tells us that 93% of African-Caribbeans with a mental health disorder has experienced some form of discrimination. Worryingly, 1 in 4 of those has experienced it within the church.
We believe that everybody has the right to grow in their faith in a safe environment that is free from stigma and discrimination. We want to work with churches to make that possible.
At present, we are a UK based organisation, although we hope that in the future, we will be able to also work internationally so that people living across Central Africa will also have access to mental health treatment and support.
Farsight run training sessions for church leaders, youth workers or others in positions of influence, in order to help make churches mental health friendly. To book a training session, or invite Lydia to speak at your church, get in touch.
A typical training day would include the following:
- An introduction to mental health
- What does the Bible say about mental health?
- As Christians, how should we respond?
- Creating and maintaining a mental health friendly environment
All training days and speaking engagements will be delivered in a way that is sensitive to cultural needs. If you have any specific requirements, please get in touch and we will see what we can do.
In the UK, we work hard to help churches promote mental health treatment, through partnerships with local GPs and mental health services.
Our long term aim is to take our vision and passion abroad, specifically to Central Africa. It is our hope that we will be able to provide training, raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in communities across the continent.
We dream of working with other organisations and professionals in order to increase access to treatment for those experiencing mental health problems.
Director & Founder
Lydia has been passionate about mental health and the stigma surrounding it, since being diagnosed with depression and anxiety aged nineteen. In the last few years Lydia has worked as an ambassador for Time to Change; a national campaign that works to end the stigma surrounding mental health, she has presented a paper on mental health awareness to the National Council of Women, has written resources for Christian youth organisations and regularly contributes to a number of blogs on the subject.
Lydia has been working with African and African-Caribbean churches in her role as a youth worker, and founded Farsight in 2014 after a short term mission trip to Uganda; she witnessed first-hand the discrimination facing those suffering with mental health problems.
Tami has spent most of her career working with children and young people in a variety of different roles including as a social worker, community support worker and part of the young offenders team. Most recently Tami was working as a primary mental health worker for the NHS before a stroke in 2013 left her paralysed down her left side and unable to return to work. Tami is currently considering her future career options, but remains passionate about working to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
Now retired, Gordon worked as the director of the IT department at the London Business School, before becoming a director of MasterSun/Ski, a Christian Tour Operator, organising winter and summer holidays, cruises and tours. His last job was as a director of Mission Direct, a short term mission organisation.
Married to Sue, a retired Head Teacher, he has three adult sons, three grandchildren and two dogs – who keep him active with long walks in the Kent countryside. He is a member of Tonbridge Baptist Church where he is involved in the music and worship teams, and also organises/leads short term mission trips to Uganda.
Benson Mugyenyi works with World Shine Ministries as a UK mission coordinator. He also works as Support Worker in a rehabilitation unit service for drugs and alcohol related addicts run by Church of Scotland (Crossreach). He is married to Margaret and the Lord blessed them with 4 children: one boy and three girls. Benson enjoys reading theological books and going to gym. His passion is to reach, raise and release the next generation into the 7 mountains of influence for the healing of nations.
Utilising the skills, reach and resources of peer organisations.
To the cultural, social and economic differences within every community.
The fervent pursuit of justice for all involved in our work.
We do what we do because of our God given passion for people.
There are a number of ways you can get involved in the work that Farsight does both in the UK and internationally