It was July 7, 2017, when the world was turned upside down for the Gallant Family.
On that day, Allan Gallant suffered a severe stroke that led to months of recovery and learning to speak again.
"When I say I lost my voice, I couldn't speak," Allan explains. "In my mind, I could speak clearly, but from my mind to my tongue, it was not clear."
He says this led to the hardest battle of his life, a battle with mental health; PTSD, severe anxiety and depression.
"I was having 20- 30 panic attacks a day," said Allan. 'I was on the floor, I was crying, I was rolled up in a ball, and my wife (Bonnie) would ask me what was wrong, but I couldn't tell her."
He was admitted into a mental health unit for 10 days where he began to recover mentally and spiritually. The road was long and hard at times, but God’s goodness led to repentance and the ongoing restoration of his soul.
He began sharing his story with his church, and it was from there AGORA Network Ministries was birthed.
"I knew after he shared his story at the church, that we were not done ministry. I said, God has something for us cause so many people said you need to share this," Bonnie explains.
AGORA Network Ministries now provides resources that meaningfully engage the topics of faith and mental health. The content is developed in collaboration with theologians, psychologists, and people who live with their own mental health challenges.
The goal is to prepare communities of faith to raise awareness, reduce stigma, support mental health, and promote mental wellbeing.
Today on Connections, Bonnie and Allan share their amazing story, the inspiration behind their ministry and the importance of discussing mental health within the church.