Kintsugi Hope was founded by Diane and Patrick Regan OBE after a series of operations and events that took them to the brink; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They faced illness and loss in their family and community.
They wrote a book and produced a DVD about their experiences. Through opening up about their struggles they realized how many people have felt alone in theirs, and the great need for each of us to be vulnerable, open and honest when life is hard.
Only when this happens, healing can start to truly take place.
Patrick described what led him to start Kintsugi Hope:
"Following a series of life-changing events including loss, illness and lots of surgery, life became increasingly overwhelming. This had a major impact on my emotional and mental health. My ‘man up' self talk didn't work, and I ended up suffering with anxiety and depression. I felt broken and filled with shame. However, when I opened up to share my brokenness, I found I wasn't alone."
"I learnt that being honest about my struggles not only helped me, but also helped open the door for many others to be honest too. It is so much easier facing difficult situations with others than on our own."
"I then discovered Kintsugi – the Japanese art of mending broken pots with golden glue. The gold makes a feature of the cracks instead of hiding them. All of us have broken pieces, but instead of hiding them, we can learn from them. We can discover treasure in our scars."
Why 'Kintsugi Hope'
The stress and demands of modern living are taking their toll on our mental health and wellbeing. Author Brené Brown believes that we live in "the most medicated, addicted, overweight cohort of history". The majority of us may feel the affect, but don't fully understand the cause. Many of us don't even feel comfortable talking about our mental wellbeing.
When journalist Johann Hari was researching depression, he found that alongside basic physical needs (food, water, shelter), we also have basic psychological needs – including the need to belong. He concluded that "we have become disconnected from the things we really need, and this deep disconnection is driving this epidemic of depression and anxiety all around us." Other research has indicated that the physical impact of loneliness is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and can significantly increase the risk of premature death, while more than three quarters of GPs see between one and five lonely people a day. The facts are not comfortable, but they are real. Each number is a person. In too many cases, it's a person not knowing where to go for help, feeling completely alone, in our communities.
The Church is in every community across this country. It will outlast government schemes and is committed to people's wellbeing – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Kintsugi Hope Groups work in communities through the local church with an attitude of humility – not to judge, fix or rescue, but to come alongside and love one another. We are all broken in some ways and we can all learn from each other.
Kintsugi Hope is not just a charity. We have a vision of starting a movement of Kintsugi Hope Wellbeing Groups where people can experience: