‘Lifting the Lid’ is produced by a charity that connects people with their communities and Christian mental health specialists.  It is presented as a six week course designed to be a useful introduction to issues of faith and mental health.  We were asked to pilot and review the resources by Hallam Caring Services to see where it might lead our Catholic Church community of Our Lady Queen of Peace, Chesterfield.

  Each session follows a distinct format beginning with a Bible passage with questions regarding Jesus’ response to a person in need of acceptance or suffering in some way.  It then follows with some information about specific mental health issues, a section on areas that may prove tricky for communities because of different people’s assumptions or attitudes to mental health issues.  It then presents a challenge to the community to reflect on how we can respond as the people of God.

  There is then a meditation section to ponder what has been heard and reflect on what individually we might do and finally a prayer to end.

  The sessions caused us to reflect on our attitudes to mental health and review what it was that sometimes hindered our response – “it challenged us personally and needed patience”, but mostly we felt it was our “lack of confidence and fear of saying or doing something wrong” which hinders our approaching people or offering support.

  We felt that we can start in small ways, through our welcoming ministry and helping people feel included, ensuring that our attitude is really one of respect for the dignity of each human person, made in God’s image and likeness.  As our parish is undergoing a renewal of its unity, ministry and mission ‘Lifting the Lid’ is one of several initiatives we are considering.

  For more information about the process please contact Sandra Asquith, sasquith@cardevelopments.co.uk.  Or you can download a free copy https://livability.org.uk/resources/lifting-the-lid/.