Monday, January 18, 2010

Blue Monday and Beautiful Minds: Christianity and Mental Health

Today is apparently Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year (particularly if you're an England cricket or Sunderland fan): the mathematical formula is here, and John Pritchard the Bish of Oxford has published some relevant prayers, for example:

Gracious God, you know our need of money.
‘Times are hard’, they say,
But harder for some that others,
harder for us, in fact.

....I don’t ask you for money (how could I?)
But I do ask you for more patience than I’ve got
and more grace that I find in my frustrated soul.

Meanwhile this conference caught my eye, looks fascinating:

The Beautiful Mind?
Emotional Health & Christian Theology
A Conference by: Mind & Soul and St Paul's Theological Centre

26th March 2010.

How we deal with our emotions is an increasingly popular topic. Yet things seem to be getting worse not better, with growing numbers of people suffering from depression. People are looking to faith and spiritually for answers - but is the church ready to respond?

Mind and Soul have teamed up with theologians from St Paul's Theological Centre to offer you this one day conference on Emotional Health and Christian Theology.

here's some of the topics being covered in sessions:

A Thorn in the Flesh: Finding Strength and Hope Amid Chronic Suffering
Capturing The Affections: Getting to the Heart of the Problem
Demons: Do They, Don’t They, What If?
‘If We Claim To Be Without Emotion...’
Mad, Bad or Sad: A Christian Approach to Antisocial Behaviour
Mental Health and Material Wealth: When Prosperity Theology Promises Emotional Healing
Perfectionism: Thomas Cramner’s Gospel for the Overachiever
Prayer Ministry and Psychology: The Relationship and the Risks

full brochure here.

It's hosted by Holy Trinity Brompton, who seem to be developing quite a range of practical courses to complement Alpha. 'Dealing with Depression' looks interesting, but there's not a great deal of info on the HTB website.

The organisation Mind and Soul are one of the sponsors of the day conference - hadn't heard of them before, but they profess to offer a Christian approach to mental health issues. This is a long standing interest of mine, and there seem to be some good articles and resources on the site. Anyone come across these folks?

(And no, they still haven't fixed the Alpha poll that was hijacked by a few mischievous bloggers/Facebookers last year. Click on 'results' to see what I mean.)

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