Having a mental health problem or caring for someone with a mental health problem should not prevent us from continuing to develop and grow. Christian communities and churches often offer opportunities for people to learn and grow, but these are rarely tailored to meet the needs of those whose lives have been affected by mental health problems.
The LIFE Course
One way that we free people up to grow is by providing practical ways of helping to improve the interaction between the Christian faith community and anyone affected by a mental health issue or who is feeling overwhelmed by life, whether a member of that community or not.
To this end we have produced a skills-based course called 'The LIFE Course', freeing people affected by mental health problems (whether their own or someone else's) to live life in all fullness.
Written in an informal and accessible style, the opening session looks at the nature of coping and explains how we can all improve in this area. The next session, "Be Still", looks at promoting relaxation while session three, "Do not worry", helps with anxiety management. Session four gives some techniques useful for managing strong emotions and the fifth session gives guidance on managing difficult relationships. The course ends by focussing on goal setting and each course member will finish with a realistic and manageable plan to bring about a positive change in their life.
While there is reference to Christian ideas in the course there is no expectation that people participating in it need identify themselves as such. They will, however, need to be open to the mention of the name of Jesus.
If you would like to run the course and help others to step towards life in all fullness then please get in touch using our contact form. A full resource pack of two leader's books and ten course books costs only £50.
We also run regular sessions at various locations to facilitate mindfulness and relaxation called "Breathe" . This provides a space for those whose life is complicated and unpredictable to find a place of calm safety, and to develop skills to enable enhanced coping in difficult situations.
This can be run in a church building or other setting and has been found to strengthen community as well as the individuals involved. We hope to develop a resource pack to enable all churches to use this model.