Mental Health Matters - The Church of England's resources for Mental Health issues.


There is a huge need for churches to be more inclusive – some might be more inclusive in some areas than others (both in attitude and resources), but on the whole this is a massive failing of churches. Most church leaders recognise this failing but lack the resources and understanding to effect meaningful change.The Inclusive Church Resources aim to educate, to reflect theologically and to provide practical advice and guidance. Each book contains first-hand personal experiences of people from the marginalised group, a theological reflection by Jean Vanier and a resource section containing addresses, websites and practical advice on improving your church’s inclusivity.
Jean Vanier is one of the world’s most respected philosopher-theologians, and founder of L’Arche, an international organisation that creates communities where people with intellectual disabilities and those who assist them share life together.
John Swinton is Chair of Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen, as well as a leading expert in Disability Theology.
Available from Amazon and other booksellers - click on the book image to go to the Amazon page.

Clinical depression is an illness, a medical condition. This means two things. First, we do not need to blame ourselves. Second, we can get better' From Chapter 1 These encouraging thoughts are the starting point of this compassionate and practical volume. In twenty short chapters, it looks at common questions and worries, such as 'What is depression', 'Does it run in my family? 'Why doesn't God heal me', 'Why do I keep thinking of ending it all' and 'How can I help myself' After providing key information on each topic in question, the authors offer engaging real-life stories and quotations, material for reflection drawn from biblical and contemporary sources and a simple exercise to try to help the depressed reader feel better. Carers, friends and relatives of those suffering from depression will also benefit from the book, particularly the chapter entitled 'What can I do to help'
By Andrew and Elizabeth Proctor. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page.

By Andrew and Elizabeth Proctor

Burnout is increasingly becoming a greater issue for today's society but this book helps readers prevent it from taking over their lives
Increasing numbers of people are enduring huge levels of stress—economic pressures, family concerns, and worries about jobs and health all contribute. And for many, the stress gets worse, increasing until they find they cannot even get out of bed to start the day. Their personality changes, their relationships become strained, and before long they realise that they have hit burnout; their mind, body, and spirit simply cannot take any more. But don't worry, it is preventable—this book enables the reader, wherever they are on the slope toward burnout, to overcome. Even if they are in the middle of it, The Essential Guide to Burnout is the first step towards a full recovery and will provide the tools necessary to ensure that they never go back.

This is a tale about stress-related illness without any of the vocabulary that contributes to stigma. It is written on many levels and invites you to engage with the narrative and continue your own personal journey whilst reading it. It is a narrative for anyone who is directly affected by a stress-related illness and their friends, relatives and supporters. Enter into the story multiple times and you might glean even more insight. 

Working within the boundaries of analogy and without any glib solutions, Neish helps to normalise unusual and often misunderstood emotional, cognitive and physical responses to stress whilst opening up the possibilities for repair and hope. The narrative has already spoken to people who have found themselves in situations where there were mental and physical challenges and therefore the decision was made to release it as an ebook in time for National Mental Health Week 2014. There is a section about the author at the back of the narrative, which can be read first. Available from Amazon - click on the picture to go to the Amazon page.

Where is Lonely 

This is a story about Chelsea who is lonely and Lonely who is grumpy, and how becoming friends changes everything.

A children's illustrated book about loneliness, exclusion and friendship.

Available from Amazon and all good booksellers.
Click on the book image to go to the Amazon page.

Edna Hunneysett wants us all to hear the stories of people with mental illness and to allow these stories to change us. In this book she has gathered together stories about mental illness that emerge directly from people's experiences. Stories which enlighten; stories which challenge and move us; and stories that change the way we see mental illness and perhaps the way we see all of our lives. This book will make a difference.
Rev. Prof. John Swinton
Practical Theology & Pastoral Care, University of Aberdeen  Available from Chipmunk pulbishing
"This is a powerful book, because it is the fruit of lived experience. It is a necessary book because many people struggle with their minds in isolation, believing (as Eva did) that no one else feels the same. It is an important book because, with the authority of priesthood, Eva gives implicit permisssion for others to recount their stories and thereby be healed in the telling". Simon Small.
Available from Amazon and other booksellers

February 2013 - 'In the footsteps of Jesus - my journey with dementia' - Ben has written this short book inspired by the experiences of people whose lives have been touched by dementia. As we follow the way of the Cross, we reflect on how our journeys are filled not just with challenges but equally with love and hope. As we learn to share the load, we journey alongside our loved ones in recognising the many gifts and talents which are present even as dementia advances Available from McCrimmons
Statistically, life has never been safer. Yet worry has reached epidemic proportions. So what has gone wrong? Many Christians are suffering in silence, unsure if psychological solutions are appropriate for them, or if biblical teaching can lead them to freedom.
The Worry Book offers a fresh solution: seeing the process of worry as the problem, rather than getting stuck into individual concerns. We can use worry to create a sense of certainty and control, but the illusion is temporary, and we generate even more problems in the process. Here we learn about the factors behind worry, and how to disable the cycle of worry and tolerate uncertainty - principles we can apply to every situation.
This is a journeyman's guide through the comedy and heartache of discovering worry's function, and so removing its power. Good theology and psychology combine to offer new perspectives and real hope.Available from Amazon and other booksellers.
Cut off by a dense fog of post-natal depression and anxiety, Hazel Rolston felt pushed beyond the edge. But when the grim voice of Despair offer her the path of suicide, she knew instinctively that this was not God's way for her. Hazel doesn't offer us a formula for instant excape. But she does remind us that God is there, even if our feelings say the opposite. No matter how bad things feel,God is faithful to his wounded, broken people beyond the edge. Available from The Good Bookstall and other booksellers.
A handbook for service users, carers and staff wishing to bring a spiritual dimension to mental health services.
Despite the fact that we live in a secular society with increasing emphasis on consumerism and scientifically proven advances in health and technology, spirituality and religion have come back onto the mental health agenda. However, this presents many challenges for staff and service users. This book will inform and benefit students and academics, practitioners and service providers, service users and carers. Available from Amazon and other booksellers.
The Integrated Self presents a model for identifying and assessing spirituality within the client’s own life and experience. By operationally defining spirituality as a dimension of the client’s experience, The Integrated Self explores the role of culture, values, beliefs, and lifestyle for understanding the spiritual dimension of the person. Using case studies, clinicians learn how to implement the model of the integrated self within their existing theoretical orientation. The Integrated Self also includes discussions on the approaches for spiritual assessment and ethical issues related incorporating spirituality in mental health treatment. While other books focus on religious beliefs, spiritual practices, or formulations of a general kind of spirituality, The Integrated Self provides a model for a holistic approach that can be adapted in both mental health and health care settings. Available from Amazon and other booksellers.
This book reflects on issues of mental health, loss and trauma which are common to all parishes.It offers a unique exploration of how mental health in a parish setting can be addressed via the dual perspectives of pastoral theology and clinical psychology. It is constructed in pairs of chapters, with each theological chapter followed by its psychological counterpart. Thus psychological thinking is used to reflect upon the liturgical pattern of the Eucharist as a means of deepening our awareness of and response to mental health and trauma.It aims to help raise the profile of mental health issues present in parish life; to encourage individuals to reflect on their own personal stories, ideas and belief systems, and how these might impact on their ministry and/or discipleship in the context of mental health.Available from Amazon and other booksellers.
Reflecting on the text in the Synoptic Gospels where Jesus encounters the demon-possessed boy and his father, and then extending that reflection by means of the 14th century icon of the same text, this small book argues for a greater recognition of those with mental health problems as people vitally important to God and made in His image. Using iconography in a pastoral way, the author argues that it provides a 'reminder' to Christian Chaplains in mental health, Church communities and Christians everywhere, usually against the prevailing culture of 'pick and mix' spirituality, to see that there are many positive opportunities to considering this theology in 'paint and wood', not only to recover some idea of our own identity as Christian carers but to see Christ in those who can be stigmatised by society.
Available from Amazon and other booksellers.
APSCC resource pack.pdf (PDF — 82 KB)
For excellent resources on spirituality and mental health download APSCC's pack
For a more extensive list of books about Mental Health and Theology, download this PDF file.
An extensive booklist is available in Hope's resource link.
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