Mental Health

We face many challenges relating to mental health in our communities and within our congregations. Young people have escalating mental health needs, for a complex variety of reasons; mental health services have been severely cut because of austerity — particularly for those in crisis.

Our gospel vision promises us life in all its fullness, and there are deep resources within our Christian tradition to enable us to make a positive and healing contribution to the world around us.

The diocesan Health, Wellbeing and Social Care Group has a network of people with skills and ‘expertise by experience’ in mental health issues. We are lay and ordained, and bring a variety of perspectives to bear on the theme of wellbeing and mental health. Please get in touch if you would like to have a conversation, or hold an awareness-raising or training event in your parish or deanery. The group is co-ordinated by Alison Webster.

Prayer

God of compassion,
You meant us to be both fragile and ordinary.
Silence the voices that say we are not good enough,
Haven’t achieved enough,
Haven’t enough to show for our lives,
That we are not enough.
Help us to know that we are treasure,
We are prized,
We are cherished,
We are loved.
Infinitely.
By you.
So be with us in our corrugations of feeling:
When our hearts are in downward freefall, be with us
When our minds race with anxiety, be with us
When our throats close in fear, be with us
When sleep will not come, be with us
When waking hurts, be with us.
In the name of Jesus,
Who knew trauma, abuse, despair and abandonment
And has nothing but love for us,
Amen

(Prayer by Alison Webster) Download prayer as postcard

Read

The Diocese’s basic guide to mental health issues.

Inclusive Church Handbook on Mental Health 

A prayer postcard produced by the Diocese of Oxford as a pastoral support for those experiencing mental distress

Wellbeing, by Alison Webster — Through a combination of story, personal reflection and philosophical analysis, Alison Webster attempts to get ‘under the skin’ of wellbeing, and show how the concept is evolving in  contemporary culture.

Find Out More

MIND — a national resource on all aspects of mental health. Particularly useful are their guidance notes ‘A—Z of mental health’.

World Mental Health Day — an international initiative to highlight mental health issues, and combat stigma towards those with mental health needs.

Mental Health First Aid — a training program that teaches members of the public how to help a person developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.