The evening was an introduction to the subject with input from clinical, counselling and pastoral perspectives. All the speakers are Christians and are active in their local church. Mental Health will cover a range of circumstances including low mood, general anxiety, personality disorder, depression, OCD, eating disorders, stress, bipolar disorder. There is a range of approach to supporting those who experience poor mental health. Alongside understanding the clinical aspects, we also need a theology of health / illness, plus a set of responses so we are able to others as part of our church life.
The evening took the following format: –
- Mental Health and the Medic. (0.00) Prof John Campbell (also a GP) set the scene for us with an overview of mental health, how people present with conditions. Are mental health problems always the result of clinical / medical problems? What is the relationship between mood and mental health? The sort of interventions the medical profession can provide, including talking therapies such as CBT.
- Mental Health and Pastoral Care. (25.00) Karol Chew trained as an OT with a specialism in Mental Health. She now works as Pastoral Care Coordinator at Belmont Chapel. Karol explained some initial responses if you are concerned about someone’s mental health or they have disclosed to you their condition. Karol also covered the value of partnership with health and social care, as well as the importance of clear boundaries about the competence and remit of the church family.
- Mental Health and Me. (48.30) Jo Friend shared her experiences of living through and with poor mental health.
- Mental Health and Discipleship. (58.06) Bryony Byrom is part of the local Biblical Counselling UK network. Bryony explained what is meant by “biblical counselling” and how it bears on Christian discipleship. She explored how we can get better at helping each other grow in our walk of faith, including those of us who struggle deeply with mental health issues whilst working alongside doctors and other helping professionals.