Mental Health Resources List

14.10.2016 | Pastoral Care, Congregational Life,


In signposting these resources, the Pastoral Care Committee of the Council for Congregational Life and Witness is not necessarily endorsing all of the ideas or views expressed in the resources or by representatives of the support services.

Websites

http://www.mentalhealthaccesspack.org/

A Christian website for churches with basic information on common mental health issues as well as links to further information. Contains some useful basic information on giving pastoral care. Endorsed by the Church of England and other UK churches.

http://niamhwellbeing.org/Leaflets-8386.html

A secular website with an extensive set of downloadable leaflets on mental health issues.

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinformation.aspx

Website of the Royal College of Psychiatrists with useful information on mental health issues including short videos (as an alternative to reading a leaflet).

http://www.haveyouseenthatgirl.com/

Website on postnatal depression with extensive articles and links to support services.

https://www.ccef.org/resources

Resources on biblical counselling including books, blog articles and short videos.

 

 

Books and articles for basic information

What could I say?

by Peter Hicks

This book covers a large number of pastoral issues including ones related to mental health such as stress, depression and phobias. It is a helpful starting point and a useful book for any elder, small group leader or pastoral care team member to own.

 

Mindful of the Light: Practical help and spiritual hope for mental health

by Stephen Critchlow

This book, written by a psychiatrist and pastor provides very practical insights into mental health problems including stress, anxiety, depression, suicide, addictions, schizophrenia and dementia. Each subject has a chapter explaining the condition and the ways in which it can be treated followed by a chapter on spiritual help for the person with the condition. It would be helpful for anyone involved in congregational pastoral care providing pastoral support to somebody with one of these problems.


Useful article on referring people to secular counselling:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/adrianwarnock/2013/06/should-a-christian-go-to-counseling-with-a-secular-therapist/

 

I'm Not Supposed to Feel Like This

by Christopher Williams, Paul Richards and Ingrid Whitton

A Christian self-help book on anxiety and depression with some guidance for pastoral carers. 

 

Personal Freedom: How the Gospel Can Be Good For Your Mental Health

by Ken Yeow

This book, written by a consultant psychiatrist in Northern Ireland, integrates an understanding of the gospel with mental health problems. It’s intended to be read by people who may be struggling with mental health problems but could also be useful for those providing pastoral care to people with mental health problems.

 

 

Books for more in-depth insights

The Minister’s Guide to Psychological Disorders and Treatments

by Brad Johnson and William Johnson (Routledge 2014)

This is an in-depth guide to mental illness and treatments. It provides expert explanations and pastoral advice especially for Ministers and other full time staff involved in pastoral care. It is written for an American audience and therefore there will be a few differences especially in health care.

 

Darkness is my only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness

by Kathryn Green-McCreight (Routledge 2014)

This is an in-depth guide to mental illness and treatments. It provides expert explanations and pastoral advice especially for Ministers and other full time staff involved in pastoral care. It is written for an American audience and therefore there will be a few differences especially in health care.

 

 
Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission

by Amy Simpson (IVP 2013)

This book highlights the problem of stigma that mentally ill people in the church often face and provides some helpful guidance on how the church can help. It probably majors more on the problem of stigma than on solutions but nevertheless is an important book to read to understand the very real stigma associated with mental health problems.

 

 

Mending the Soul

by Steven Tracey (Zondervan 2015)

This book focuses on helping people who have been abused (sexually, physically, verbally, spiritually or through neglect) which is often a cause of various mental health problems. It offers an in-depth biblical approach but should not be seen as a substitute for specialist help. However, it will aid understanding of abuse victims and avoid potentially unhelpfully responses.

 

Support Services

The following secular counselling or support services are signposted but not necessarily endorsed by the Pastoral Care Committee of the Council for Congregational Life and Witness (with the exception of the PCI Counselling services).
 

Counselling

PCI Counselling

PCI Counselling offers a professional counselling service and is available to anyone experiencing difficulties. Counsellors deal with a range of issues including relationship difficulties, bereavement and loss, abuse, lack of trust, childlessness, sexual health, family issues, anxiety and depression. Further information and contact details are here.
 
When it comes to counselling or support groups, some discernment is required concerning the approach. Some suggested guidelines are:

  • If possible it helps to get to know a counsellor, counselling service or support service geographically close to the congregation.
  • Unlike the medical profession and some other professions, there is no legislation regarding who can call themselves a counsellor so it is important to know something about the counsellor, their qualifications and their approach.
  • A Christian counsellor may be preferable to a secular counsellor but for a number of mental health problems, a more experienced secular counsellor who is sympathetic to Christian faith could be preferable especially if there are no Christian counsellors nearby. Bear in mind that a ‘Christian counsellor’ may simply be a Christian who counsels or a counsellor who actively engages with a biblical worldview in counselling – the former may not be much different in practice to a secular counsellor who is happy to affirm someone’s faith.
  • Counselling or support services provided by an outside agency should be complemented by the pastoral care someone receives from their congregation rather than seen as a substitute – some of the reading above will help inform that pastoral care.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy is a well-recognised mainstream approach to counselling but there can be other approaches which may be helpful, particularly if deemed suitable by a competent practitioner following appropriate assessment of the person’s needs.

 
Remember that the most obvious source of help and first place to go for anyone with a serious mental health problem is their GP.

 

Regional list of services in Northern Ireland

The website below provides a very comprehensive list of support services for all Health and Social Care Trust areas in Northern Ireland.  As stated above, not all of these are endorsed by the Pastoral Care Committee of the Council for Congregational Life and Witness, however there are many that may be useful.

http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/directory-services-help-improve-mental-health-and-emotional-wellbeing

 

Regional list of services in the Republic of Ireland

The website below provides a very comprehensive list of mental health services in the Republic of Ireland as well as mental health advice.  As stated above, not all of these are endorsed by the Pastoral Care Committee of the Council for Congregational Life and Witness, however there are many that may be useful.

http://hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/Mental_Health_Services/

 

Telephone services

Lifeline - www.lifelinehelpline.info

A free 24 hour Northern Ireland based telephone service (0808 808 8000) for people experience distress or despair (also available to people concerned about someone else) using trained counsellors. The service is funded by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Samaritans - www.samaritans.org

The Samaritans free helpline (116 123 from any phone) is available in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Childline - www.childline.org.uk

UK based telephone (0800 1111) and online help available to anyone aged up to nineteen.

 

Support services

Action Mental Health - www.amh.org.uk

A Northern Ireland based charity with a focus on helping people with mental health problems get back into employment but also with a number of other support services such as supporting people with eating disorders, alcohol relate problems, etc. See their services page for more details of what is available in different localities: www.amh.org.uk/services/

AWARE - www.aware-ni.org

A Northern Ireland based charity providing support groups for people with depression. They also provide training such as ‘Mental Health First Aid’ for anyone interested in being better equipped in responding to people with mental health problems.

Mindwise - www.mindwisenv.org

A Northern Ireland based charity providing support to people with mental health problems including support in housing and back into employment as well as integration into society and support for those detained by the police.

Beacon - www.beaconwellbeing.org

A Northern Ireland based charity under the umbrella of NIAMH (Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health) providing support services for people with mental health problems including housing support.

Praxis - www.praxisprovides.com 

A Northern Ireland based charity providing support to people with mental health problems including support in housing, a befriending scheme and counselling services.

Nexus NI - www.nexusni.org

A Northern Ireland based counselling service for survivors of sexual abuse, victims of sexual violence including those who have experienced rape and sexual assault.