faith and mental health
The relationship between faith and mental health is complex, and Left Side Up is passionate about helping faith communities become more supportive in terms of mental wellbeing and more hopeful for the whole person.
See below for the work we are doing in this area, and to keep up to date with The Faith and Metnal Health Project.
Media, inteview and comment requests can be sent to Lindsay Robinson at
Designed and led by Lived Experience Mental Health Campaigner, Lindsay Robinson and NI theologian, Andrew Cunning, The Faith and Mental Health Project is an exploration of the relationship between mental health and faith communities here in Northern Ireland.
We want to help churches and faith communities better serve their members and to do that, we need to have a good look at how mental health is currently being supported within these communities. Do churches have a positive effect on their members’ mental health? Is the Bible used in some ways that hinder rather than help? What could be done better in faith communities to ensure people who are struggling to get what they need?
From December 2020 to March 2021, we have been engaged in researching the relationship between faith and mental wellbeing in NI churches and faith communities.
Participants have had the opportunity to register their personal experiences in our widely taken survey. The survey asked questions around things like personal faith practice, positive and negative uses of Scripture, and provided lots of opportunity to make recommendations for faith communities to better support their members' mental health.
We have also conducted over twenty hours of face-to-face (Zoom!) interviews with lived experience participants who wanted to go a little deeper.
The anonymized results of this research are being analysed by lived experience experts, the LSU community, faith leaders and mental health professionals.
The launch our findings will take place in May 2021 and we would love to have you at these events!
From the outset, the Faith and Mental Health project was aimed towards practical outcomes. The 'so what?' question has been in our minds the whole way through, and with the research complete, the task now is to put together resources to help faith communities better support their members' mental health and wellbeing.
FAITH AND MENTAL HEALTH COURSE
Available from June 2021, this online course is aimed towards those who have an interest in the interface between faith and mental wellbeing. This course will equip anyone in leadership and will explore essential questions:
- How can churches become safe places?
- In what ways can some religious language do damage and what can we do about it?
- How do we read the Bible well in terms of mental wellbeing?
- How can spiritual practice help foster good mental wellbeing?
Join us for these six sessions as we explore mental wellbeing in the midst of a national lockdown.
Over the six weeks we till hear from professionals on practical wisdom and techniques for taking care of our mental health - sessions include: Relaxation Yoga, Journaling and Mediation, EFT/Tapping.
The final evening, on Thursday 25th March, will be taken by the LSU Team as they reflect on the wisdom learned from the year we have all endured.
You will be made very welcome at these events.