Saturday, 28 August 2010

Finding peace

Our hospital chaplaincy team arrange regular education sessions for parish clergy. These are always informative and useful, as well as providing the opportunity for fellowship and networking. The latest session introduced us to the work of breathing space, a  first stop phoneline service for anyone who is experiencing low mood. I'm not sure whether to be disturbed by the extremely high figures on call volume quoted by Tony Mclaren, National Coordinator for Breathing Space,  or relieved that such a service is available to point those calling to other means of support.
The other speaker of the day, a charge nurse from the Acute Psychiatric Service in Ayrshire and Arran, gave us an insight into the integrated, holistic therapy they are attempting to provide. Both sessions provided lots of information and new perspective. As is often the case, my thoughts turned to how the church could be of use in lightening the load of service users and service providers. But the sad fact is that, probably, the church is the last place that many folk would turn even though, in many places now, there would be a welcome and an acceptance that might not always have been found in our churches. How can we change the perspective of generations who have lost faith in an institution but who still would claim to have faith in the ability of good to triumph over evil, even if they are only clinging onto that with their fingertips?

2 comments:

Dot said...

Liz:
when you think that it was the Churches who used to provide all the mental health care before the days of asylums, just like the provision of education is now run by the state, so are many of our mental health services. Crossreach do a lot of brilliant work, but obviously have to limit their services. Wouldn't it be wonderful for this to be back as the core business of the Church?!? Conversation required to make a plan!!!!

liz said...

Conversation coming!!!

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