Disturbed by Mind and Spirit: Mental Health and Healing in Parish Ministry

Set in the specific context of a culturally diverse inner urban parish where mental health needs are high and the previous incumbent was murdered by a man with schizophrenia, the 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; to help recognise and acknowledge that mental health is often a stigmatized, forbidden and misunderstood subject; one which has no clear-cut answers, but which challenges our core selves and requires us, if we are to respond to it authentically, to recognise our own strengths and limitations, our areas of expertise, and the times when we need to seek additional help or support; and to offer hope for the renewal of parish life in general, not necessarily through specific strategies and solutions but through a deepened understanding of our shared stories of brokenness and healing.