London church buildings launch psychological well being assist marketing campaign

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Churches in London will be able to offer more mental health and isolation support to their congregations under a new program launched by the Diocese of London.

In partnership with three specialist charities, churches will receive training and resources to provide vital support for mental health and isolation in their local community. This new offering of support is part of the wider Diocese of London Lenten Appeal, which aims to raise money and awareness of the issues of mental health and isolation in our communities.

Launching the campaign at St Dionis Church West London, the Bishops of London and Kensington highlighted the enormous potential of churches to strengthen local mental health services and recognized the charities and churches that are already providing support. The event, hosted in partnership with the Mind and Soul Foundation, brought together charities and churches for presentations and an interactive conference to share ideas and build connections.

The Bishop of London Sarah Mullally said:

“Churches are ideally placed to support mental health in their communities and to complement the work of local services and the NHS. Our churches are at the center of their communities, both geographically and socially, and can reach out to people who need support.

“We don’t yet fully understand the toll the last two years of the pandemic have had on our overall mental health, and returning to a normal, busier life will also bring its own challenges. We all have a role to play in helping people access the support they need, regardless of who they are or where they are on their mental health journey.

“I am delighted that London’s churches will partner with these three inspirational charities to transform the services they are able to provide to their communities and raise awareness of the work of charities. The new partnerships forged during this campaign will bring long-term benefits to Londoners.”

Bishop of Kensington Graham Tomlin said:

“Questions about good mental health are on our minds a lot these days. Good mental health depends on a strong sense of connection with others and a purpose in life that the Christian faith can bring.

“Churches do much to support their communities in practical ways, but this year’s Lenten Appeal invites us as congregations across London to partner with three outstanding charities to find new ways to help build good mental health in ours to contribute to local communities.”

Mind and Soul Foundation Director Rev. Will Van Der Hart said:

“We welcome the Diocese of London’s commitment to promoting positive mental health through the local church. We would urge other dioceses to see the tremendous potential that is emerging through local churches working together with both NHS providers and third sector organizations such as the excellent organizations represented in the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal. Not only can churches better meet the emotional health needs of their own communities, but they can also have a significant and valuable impact on the mental health of the nation as a whole.”

The Lent Appeal campaign will focus on raising awareness of adult and adolescent mental health and well-being issues and domestic violence. The churches will fundraise and work with three specialist charities, each with a complementary focus.

Working with Renew Wellbeing, churches will be empowered to create quiet, safe spaces where it’s “okay not to be ok”. Meanwhile, the charity Restored will equip churches to understand and challenge domestic violence and provide a safe place for survivors. The third partner charity, Headstrong, a project led by Youthscape and supported by the Mind and Soul Foundation, works with churches to support young people with mental health and anxiety issues.

Partner Organizations of the Diocese of London

  • Renew Wellbeing: Based on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, Renew helps communities create “wellbeing spaces” based on three simple principles: presence, prayer and partnership.
  • Restored: Restored changes history for women caught in the cycle of abuse by equipping the church to make a difference, supporting and advocating for survivors, and engaging men in the conversation.
  • Headstrong: Headstrong is a Youthscape-led project supported by the Mind and Soul Foundation that provides a space for young people to speak out about faith and mental health, as well as support for parents, youth workers and church leaders.