Most of us will experience stress, anxiety or depression at some point in our lives. For many this will lead to some kind of medical treatment. For some, their mental health issues will be severe, debilitating, and/or long-term. Despite being common, mental health problems come with social stigma attached. Treatment for mental ill-health is under-funded, and support in the community much less good than it should be.
Churches can play a hugely important role in helping to overcome stigma, supporting and standing alongside those with mental health needs, and ensuring that all are included in the life of the church – enabled to contribute insight and wisdom to the Christian community, as well as to receive the support and care that they need.
Within the Diocese, the Health and Social Care group of the Oxford Diocesan Board of Mission can be a resource to clergy and other parish staff who may come across people with mental health needs. The group tries to keep up to date with developments in the field, and runs occasional training and study events. For further details, please do get in touch.
Alison Webster, Social Responsibility Adviser