Let’s make the churches and chaplaincies in our diocese places of welcome and inclusion for people living with mental ill-health
Responding to the challenge of mental ill-health within our communities and congregations is essential if our churches and chaplaincies are to be places of welcome and inclusion for people living with mental ill-health.
It was for this reason that a gathering of parish clergy, pastoral teams and professionals working in the field of mental ill-health came together in October 2018 – hosted by the newly formed Mental-Health & Well-Being Network – to explore ways in which practical ideas, based on the needs of their own communities, could be turned into local initiatives of welcome and inclusion. On this occasion, a colleague from MIND brought an insightful presentation, see:
There are some excellent examples of good, practical projects running in our diocese. Some of these are on a large scale such as the well-established Connect Cafe at Soul Survivor Church in Watford, or The Lantern at St Paul’s Church, St Albans, which offers counselling services and works positively to break down stigma and encourage openness. Others on a smaller scale cater for small numbers of people in ways such as one-to-one befriending and listening.
The Church of England nationally also offer resources for mental health issues, see: Mental Health Matters
Our ongoing aim is to make known and share good practice generally, to encourage one another. No church needs to do anything on its own if it isn’t confident or doesn’t think it has the resources. In almost every locality there will be opportunity to work ecumenically, with other church denominations, or across faiths. Also it is helpful to collaborate with other organisations and charities – see: Useful Links
If you are looking for help with a new initiative or have some good ideas to share, please use one of the following options:
- Sharing Forum – comments/questions can be posted in this private, password-protected forum – send Password Request
- alternatively, send your question directly to Carol Chisnall at diocesan office, – this will be directed to a member of the Mental-Health & Well-Being Network.
Pray this prayer with us – written for World Mental Health Day by Alison Webster, the Oxford Diocesan Deputy Director of Mission (Social Responsibility) – shown here with permission:
World Mental Health Day is held on 10 October every year since 1992. You may like to know more about this dedicated Day and start to plan how your church or chaplaincy may be involved in the future – find out more: World Mental Health Day