Livability and Premier Mind and Soul, a Christian mental health charity, have combined to create a new resource to help churches better understand people with mental health needs in their congregations.
What is it?
The online resource aims to equip churches with relevant theological, psychological and medical knowledge in response to the growing demand from churches to better understand mental health issues and to provide greater access and support. With contributions from a number of experts including Rev Will van der Hart, Dr Kate Middleton, Dr Rob Waller and Jonathan Clark it contains some valuable professional insight.
According to statistics, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue each year, with 11% of British women taking anti-depression medication daily. Other evidence also suggests that Christians with mental health needs have found that churches they attend are relatively ill-equipped to support them. The online resource suggests effective ways that local churches can support those experiencing poor mental health.
Pastoral Chaplain at Holy Trinity Brompton and a director of Premier Mind and Soul, Will Van der Hart, said, ‘The Mental Health Access Pack responds to a critical need in the church today, not only from the congregants but also from church leaders. 20% of clergy sick leave each year is as a result of depressive illness and almost half (47%) of leaders from major protestant denominations admit to suffering from stress most of the time. Many Christians are unaware of the depth of isolation experienced by those with mental health issues within their churches. Sadly it often feels safer to deny you have a problem that to expose yourself to the assumption that you have ‘little faith’ or are being spiritually ‘disobedient.’
For more information on the Mental Health Access Pack: http://www.mentalhealthaccesspack.org/