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         Mental Illness
                    & Spirituality

‘Out of the depths


This website is funded

and developed by the Wood Family

in loving memory of

Mrs June Wood

Vale June Wood Details

One of the founding members of

A Nouwen Network.

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THE WEEKLY TOPICS ARE:


Week 1: Stigma and the use of language and how it affects people who experience mental illness. Mental health: what is it? What makes for good mental health?
Medication: what’s your view?
Mental illness: what is it? What creates the potential for mental illness? 
Stress model for understanding why people develop mental illness.  As people of faith, how does our faith prevent or aid in the recovery from mental illness?


Week 2: A story by someone who has experienced mental illness and recovery Psychosis: what is it? (material used by permission from Andrew Fort)  Early warning signs: helping people to stay well (material used from Enhancing Recovery from Psychosis, by Brian Johnston, Department of Human Services, South Australia, 1998.)


Week 3: A story by a person who has experienced bipolar disorder, and recovery  What is the difference between an emotion and a mood?  Model of change: recognising denial as a way of dealing with illness What is bipolar disorder? Mood charts: early warning signs; Sleep–wake cycle; Dealing with triggers; Drug use; Use of medications to assist in recovery.


Week 4: Depression: what is it? Grief: what is it and do people who experience mental illness experience grief? How can we help? The difference between grief and mental illness Dealing with negative thoughts Staying in our upper positive range: using tools to help.


Week 5: A story by a person who has experienced anxiety disorder and recovery Anxiety: what is it? Dealing with the inner critic/perfect person Taming your It: a start to managing anxiety disorder. Shame and its effect. Toning down your radar


Week 6: Dealing with difficult people (Borderline Personality Disorder). Boundaries. Effective communication


Week 7: Forgiveness: a model to assist people to forgive themselves. Spirituality.

Currently I am undertaking a Master’s of Pastoral Care Counselling. I hope to use this seven-week module in research so that I can assess its effectiveness. If it proves to be effective I hope to have it accepted in some of our training colleges.


I am convinced that the church has a service to offer to those who experience mental illness. My aim is to continue to develop networks and resources for churches so that they can reach out and support people with mental illness. With this in mind I have applied for a grant to have someone work alongside me so that they can gain the skills and the experience necessary to work with people who experience illness, and to provide a greater resource to the church and the community.

From the perspective of furthering my practice, my ideal would be to create a congregation that could provide training, support, and resources to other congregations in the area of mental health. I am very keen to exchange details of new programs and resources with other working in similar fields and would support the development of a national special interest group for this purpose.


Reverend Mark Boyce is a Chaplain with the Northern Adelaide Mental Health Service

Australian Journal of Pastoral Care and Health Vol. 2, No.2, December 20


FURTHER ARTICLES

Hospital Chaplaincy – Peter Frith Anglicare Chaplain, Macquarie Hospital (Mental Health) NSW

Who Sits With John - Peter Firth