Having held a really successful event for World Mental Health Day in early October we launched a number of new resources that we hope will serve to bridge the gap that sometimes exists between mental health service users and church members.
Firstly we launched our free booklet, A Brief Guide to Mental Health with a foreword by The Right Reverend Doctor Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry. This is a must-have for all church communities as it seeks to demystify various aspects of mental illness and also provides some tips and pointers for providing or accessing further help. There are still copies of this available to anyone who drops us a line using the contact page on this website and including a postal address. We ask for a voluntary donation of £4 per booklet from those who can afford to give it. Feedback received so far has been overwhelmingly positive, so do get in touch for a copy.
We also launched our media page on this website which ties in to our Keeping Health in Mind Youtube channel. There are a series of interviews with our director, Ali, on Radio Plus where she explores various aspects of faith and mental health, plus there is an astoundingly beautiful, poignant and personal account of living with depression by film-maker and composer Peter Every called "A History of Depression 1996-2013", and also the first of a series of conversations between Ali and well known people who can offer us new insights into the relationship between faith and mental health. This first conversation, particularly suitable for church leaders and mental health service providers, is with eminent theologian and lecturer Dr Jane Williams and explores why mental illness is very much the business of the church.
And finally we also launched the Free to Worship Charter, a simple statement for church leaders to sign up to stating their intention to try to reduce the stigma that people with mental ill health so often experience. Sign-ups have been pretty slow so far, perhaps because church leaders don't know about it, so please do make sure your church leadership see it. To help those who sign up we'll be sending out a couple of booklets and details of our upcoming resources and events. Let's stand together and make the world a better place.
On top of all that Ali has been out on the road a bit, too, speaking about God's heart for those with mental health problems and is open to invitations to come and speak at churches, events and meetings. We have some more exciting developments up our sleeves, too, so watch this space as more will be revealed in the near future.