Mental health

Mental Health (Opening Minds)

Developing the Church’s understanding and support of those with mental health needs and learning difficulties, and their carers.

Opening Minds is a group drawn together to help coordinate the diocese’s response to mental health issues. This group is made up of a mixture of ordained and lay people, health professionals and service users. The aim is for the strategy group to be made up of 50 per cent users in due course.

The Opening Mind group wants to hear from you about particular issues, challenges, stories and training and resource needs. For example, what help do you need in your church relating to mental health?

Opening Minds membership:-

Opening Minds has an email network which is open to all within the Diocese, with an interest in mental health.  They receive emails periodically including information about the meetings.  There is a smaller core group, who are invited to attend the meetings that take place quarterly.  Members of the core group have been chosen to be representative of the wide range of issues that come under the umbrella of mental health.

Video: My lifelong struggle with mental health

As core group members we have lived experience, are carers, professionals or senior church leaders and some fit several of these roles.  The settings include parishes, university, prisons and the streets.  The specialist expertise covers all ages, from children to older people, learning difficulties, the autistic spectrum disorder as well as the more common disorders.  We have expertise in advocacy, training and research.  The mental health professional expertise includes care work, chaplaincy, nursing, psychiatry and social work.

The group has strong links with local and national mental health organisations including the Carer’s Council – Allies in Adult Mental Health, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Bassetlaw MIND and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Key Contact:

Mental Health Awareness Sunday – 15th October 2017

This year Opening Minds has had a particular focus on Children and Young People and churches are encouraged to make this their own focus on Mental Health Awareness Sunday – 15th October 2017.

It is thought that around one in ten children and young people have a mental health difficulty, and the stresses and challenges that young people face are being recognised.

Opening Minds, the diocesan mental health strategy group, is inviting parishes to use the day to deepen understanding of mental illness, and to reach out with compassion and empathy to people who are struggling with it.

Click here for more information and resources

Mental Health Awareness Guides: recruiting the pioneers

The task of raising mental health awareness across the Diocese could not be undertaken only by Opening Minds as it is needed to be based within the local church.  The suggestion of a mental health awareness guide (MHAG) linked to each parish was supported by the senior clergy of the Diocese.  The project has attracted national interest and the support of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The MHAG is not expected to address the spiritual or psychological needs of individuals and their carers themselves but may help to signpost them to other sources of help.

We hope to attract participation from a variety of churches with both large and small congregations. We would like to include rural and town parishes as well as those within the city.
To ensure their effectiveness in the role, the MHAG should have the support of both their church leader and PCC. Opening Minds thinks it is helpful if the MHAG has personal experience of mental health problems.

Please see below links for further information:-

How to Get Started as a MHAG click here
Opening Minds & Mental Health Awareness Guides (MHAGs) click here
Checklist for Mental Health Awareness Guides click here
Roles & Responsibilities click here
How to Share a Story (Testimony) click here

What to do in a mental health crisis – click here