Session on mental health for the youth

The Archdiocesan Single Adults and Youth Office (ASAYO KL) organised a very insightful sharing session focusing on mental health and wellbeing this April.

May 08, 2021

By Rosabel Pinto
The Archdiocesan Single Adults and Youth Office (ASAYO  KL) organised a very insightful sharing  session focusing on mental health and wellbeing this April. Titled Nurturing the  Inner World: Discovering the Wonder  Within, the engaging sharing took place during one of ASAYO’s regular online  hangout sessions for young adults aged  25-39 years old. 

According to Jacinta Fernandez, a  Youth Pastoral Worker of ASAYO who  also hosted the session, ASAYO chose to  focus on the topic of mental health this  time round  because mental health was identified  as one of the main areas of concern  brought up by our Catholic youth during the ArchKL Young People’s Assembly  2019 (AYPA 2019).

Around 20 young adults from various  parishes across Peninsular Malaysia,  Sabah and Sarawak participated in the  session, which was conducted online on  April 26. The session featured special  guest Genevieve Wong, a committed  ASAYO volunteer who is now a counsellor and co-founder of her own counselling and therapy practice.

The hangout session kicked off at  8.45pm with an ice-breaker session,  followed by a short Praise and Worship  session conducted by ASAYO representatives Chermaine Raj and  Jacinta Fernandez. Then, the  spotlight was on Genevieve  and her insightful sharing on  nurturing the inner world.  According to her, the inner  world refers to our true self,  which is who we really are  at our core.  She used the analogy  of the iceberg to illustrate this. Just  like there’s so much more beneath the  surface of an iceberg, there’s more to  you and me. The major portion of the  iceberg is submerged under water —  that represents our inner world with  the tip representing our public selves.  So how do we discover and nurture  our true selves? This involves practicing self-awareness - being aware of our  feelings, thoughts and what’s going on  inside us. It also involves the exploration of our mindset, values, behaviours,  beliefs, yearnings and the past such as  our childhood and painful experiences. 

Overall, Genevieve’s sharing received  positive feedback from the participants,  who generally found it good and insightful. When asked about the entire  session, one of the participants, who  chose to remain anonymous, said that  she liked the “reminder to be still, calm  and acknowledge God’s presence” in  the journey towards discovering our  true selves. 

Genevieve ended her sharing with  a beautiful poem penned by herself, which perfectly summed up her entire  sharing. 

After a short Q&A session with Genevieve, the hangout session ended with a closing prayer at around 10.30pm.

Open my eyes, Lord, to Your beauty unseen,
The marvels around me, the wonders within.
I want to see, Lord, what You see in me,
I want to grow, Lord, into who I’m meant to be.
I pray, I discern, I listen for Your voice
I seek You in all things and so I make my choice.

I call out to you Lord, Who parted the sea,
Who multiplied the loaves and with love, died for me,
Please part my fog of inner conflict and strife,
Multiply my willingness to die and rise to new life
May I have the courage to look deep within,
To be free of the past, pain, hurt... and the stain of all sin.

Sometimes, dear Lord... I just don’t know where to start,
And I look to You, Lord, Who dwell in my heart; It’s there
where I find You, in the depths of my soul,
You come to my brokenness and You make me whole.
My storm you calm; my darkness, you illuminate,
Healed and at peace, Your love I’ll radiate.

Lord, you know me best, my heart, my hopes, my all,
Help me nurture my Self and answer Your call;
As You battle my turmoil, I choose to be still,
I trust and surrender myself to Your Will.
“For I know the plans I have for you”, Lord thus you have said;
And I know I am loved; I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit,

penned by Genevieve Won

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