For a long time, the mental health of our nation has been under pressure, with many people seeking support and a safe place to talk. Adding coronavirus into this already pressured situation means that many more people are feeling anxious, low in mood or unable to enjoy life in the same way. Since the beginning of the church, people of Christian faith have provided support to those who are struggling with difficult emotions, and now we are needed more than ever. This week (18th to 24th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the theme is kindness, something we can all show, and which can make a huge difference in the lives of people who are mentally and emotionally vulnerable due to this pandemic.
A new telephone support line, the ‘Coventry Churches Info Line’ will start on Thursday 21st May. This line will be open each Tuesday between 10 am and 12 noon, and each Thursday between 2 pm and 4 pm. There is a 24-hour answerphone which will be responded to during session times only. The volunteers who run it are people with lived experience of mental ill health, and those who are trained in signposting, listening and guidance. It is a place to get information on mental health services throughout the city, find a listening ear and a reminder of God’s presence in the brokenness of the current circumstances. There is a Punjabi speaker available.
Along with this, the Reverend Ali Hogger, Vicar of St Paul’s Foleshill has begun to make online versions of sessions of The Life Course, a Christian mental wellbeing resource she has been running for many years. These are available at on the St. Paul's website and can be used either as an individual or a group.
At St Andrew’s Eastern Green, they are running the Tastelife course, designed to help people with eating disorders. To find out more and to register an interest contact the vicar, the Reverend Greg Smith, at firstname.lastname@example.org.