Churches have a responsibility to welcome everyone who comes to them in Christ’s name, but the reality is that they don’t always know how best to support people who are struggling with mental health issues. The Mental Health Access Pack will help equip churches to make God’s love more visible in the welcome they offer to every person. I am grateful to Livability and to Mind and Soul for all the thought and prayer that has gone into this resource and I commend it to churches as a valuable pastoral tool.
The Most Rev and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
With one in four people experiencing mental health problems, every church and congregation has a role to play in ensuring they are inclusive and supportive of all members of their community. Talking more openly about mental health problems can break down the stigma that is life-limiting and sometimes life-threatening when it acts as a barrier to people seeking help - from the church, the GP, family, friends, colleagues and from the community more widely. This fantastic comprehensive site will help churches put out the right messages in relation to mental health and provide support and understanding when people are in the greatest need of it.
Sue Baker, director, Time to Change
I was really excited to see the Mental Health Access Pack. This is a brilliant tool for the Church to begin turning towards the world around us in the area of Mental Health. Oftentimes I see where the Church doesn't know what to do when it comes to mental health and whats great about the Access Pack is that it gives clarity to help remove the stigma often attached to mental health but also equips and gives helpful steps to find out how to respond, how to react and how to help those affected by Mental Illness. I am thrilled to see such a great resource!
Christy Wimber, senior pastor, Yorba Linda Vineyard
The Mental Health Access Pack is a comprehensive and practical guide for everybody with questions about the place in their church community for someone with mental health problems. One in four of us will experience mental illness at sometime and most of us will know someone affected amongst our family and friends. It's time for all of us to be more open and more confident in the way in which people are welcomed and included.
The Baroness Hollins, emeritus professor of psychiatry of disability, University of London
I welcome the Mental Health Access Pack, produced by Livability and Mind and Soul, as an important new resource to help Christians of all denominations to combat the stigma attached to mental illness and, through better information on a range of conditions, to support those affected. The teleological reflections give crucial insights for those struggling with mental health problems to understand how their Christian faith can help in their recovery.
The Most Rev Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham
This is the essential 'go-to' guide for churches wanting to understand key mental health conditions and find specialist organisations to help those in need, including their families.
Jane Smith, chief executive officer, Anorexia and Bulimia Care
The Mental Health Access Pack provides church leaders with professional advice for supporting people with mental health issues presented in a way that everyone can understand. It is a gift to the Church.
Rev Nicky Gumbel, vicar, Holy Trinity Brompton, London
Mind and Soul and Livability are to be commended for tackling the difficult issue of mental illness and its treatment. This area is important for the consideration of every church, and Christian lay people can make an enormous contribution which will have beneficial effects throughout society. Members of the church can, and do a huge amount of good by befriending sufferers; after all, this is what churches are about. Members of the church treat everyone, including those suffering from mental illnesses, as a human being. The church is in an excellent position to ‘go public’ in educating against the stigma of mental illness and it can often provide a safe place in the community for those who are recovering from mental illness. This resource will help churches to carry out these tasks and allow members of churches to feel more comfortable in befriending and assisting those with mental and emotional problems. By providing information on frequent psychiatric conditions and faith-related topics, it will enable church people to be more useful. As a consultant psychiatrist for many years, I have often benefited from being able to work with church leaders and other members of the church for the benefit of their mentally sick members, my patients. I commend this project in enabling the church to do this more effectively.
Andrew Sims, past president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, emeritus professor of psychiatry, University of Leeds
I’m so encouraged by the Mental Health Access Pack. This vital resource will equip churches to effectively support those impacted by mental ill health. It has the potential to change lives and yet is refreshingly simple. Every church needs to engage with this.
Rachel Welch, project director, selfharmUK
I am delighted to endorse this absolutely brilliant resource. The Church is passionate about wholeness and healing, yet so often is ill-equipped to help people with their mental health. This resource is just what we need - a practical, real, toolkit for church leaders. I will make sure the Church Army team have this at their disposal.