Arches tea and toast

Pastoral Care for Mental Ill Health

"Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT)

Come As You Are

As we ease out of lockdown and prepare to welcome people once again to our buildings, we are mindful that this season may have caused a downturn in mental health for many. We have gathered some resources to aid churches and organisations in coming alongside those who are struggling. Again, these are not exhaustive. If you have resources that your organisation has found helpful, please do contact Hannah Buck and we can share them through this page.

Raising Awareness- Challenging the Stigma

Michele Brown, of US charity One In Five Minds, says 'Religious communities are in a unique position to combat stigma and provide a message of acceptance and hope. In fact, a faith community may be the only place where a person with a mental illness can feel accepted, valued, and loved.'

Nottingham Citizens have partnered with the local NHS trust to create a two hour training session to raise awareness of mental ill health and challenge the stigma around it. It is free to attend and further details and how to book on can be found here.

Host a Renew Space

Renew Wellbeing helps churches open spaces of welcome and inclusion in partnership with mental health teams to improve mental and emotional wellbeing.

Renew spaces are simple cafe style spaces run by local churches where hobbies and activities are shared or co-produced. Each cafe space is attached to a quiet room or prayer space where inner habits of wellbeing are shared. Each church partners with a mental health professional from the local council to ensure good inclusive practices for safe spaces where it's OK not to be OK can be sustained.

Being present • Being prayerful • Being in partnership

Renew Wellbeing provides information, inspiration, training and ongoing support to local churches as well as developing a simple national strategy for many small safe spaces to be made available through churches and councils working together.

The Sanctuary Course

If, as a church or organisation, you are looking for a more structured approach to supporting mental health, then you may find The Sanctuary Course helpful.

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries have made their 8 week 'Sanctuary Course' free indefintiely for churches to access and use in small group settings. The purpose of The Sanctuary Course is to raise awareness and start conversations in local churches regarding mental health. Consequently, The Sanctuary Course is intended for educational purposes only and the information provided is not a substitute for
medical or therapeutic advice.

The course comes with a leader's and particpant guides, as well as video resources accessible to support. The topics covered over the 8 weeks are as follows:

Session 1: Introduction

Session 2: Mental Health

Session 3: Mental Illness

Session 4: Stigma

Session 5: Recovery

Session 6: Companionship

Session 7: Self-care

Session 8: The Church

If you are interested in running the course, and would like to be connected with other local churches, please contact Hannah Buck


Being Alongside-The Association for Pastoral Care in Mental Health


One In Five Minds

Article Website

Catholic Mental Health Project


Renew Wellbeing


Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries



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