Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Resources to Help us with Mental Health in Lockdown


As lockdown continues, albeit in a slightly modified form, I suspect all of us are having struggles of one type or another with our mental health. For some that may be moments of anger, sadness or frustration (if you check in with my family I've exhibited all three of those!). For others it will much bigger challenges. I wanted to point you all at some resources which I think will be helpful for all of us at this challenging time. 



The first is to point you at the brilliant talk and Q&A which Dr Kate Middleton from the Mind and Soul Foundation did for us. You can find it on both Facebook and YouTube. I can't recommend it strongly enough. If you've already heard it then why not go and listen to it again! Why not also send a link to it to someone you know who might benefit from it.

There are also a whole load articles on supporting your mental health in the midst of Covid-19 on their website as well as a wealth of other helpful information. Please take a look. They also post lots of information on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube feeds, not all of which appears on their website.



Hope in Depression is a charity which founded by Lisa Owens who is part of Kerith Bracknell. The charity runs a six week course hosted by experts in various areas of mental health to help both people who are struggling with depression and those who are seeking to support people who are struggling. I have spoken with a number of people who have attended the course and they have all spoken incredibly highly of it, both in terms of the quality of the people presenting it and the impact it has made on their own lives. You don't need to have a faith background to do the course.

The latest course, which is being run online, started last Monday (11th May) but it's not too late to join in week 2. I'd really recommend it to anyone who feels they could do with some help. You can find all the details and a sign up form on the small groups section of the website

Hope in Depression have also recently posted some really helpful short videos on their YouTube channel around various aspects of mental health. 


Kintsugi is the name for a Japanese technique of making artwork from pottery which is broken and then put back together using glue which is golden coloured, highlighting the beauty which can come from brokenness. Kintsugi Hope is a Christian charity seeking to to see a world where mental and emotional health is understood and accepted, with safe and supportive communities for everyone to grow and flourish. Earlier this year I heard Patrick Regan who founded Kintsugi speak and found him very helpful. They run Wellbeing Groups as well as having a load of helpful talks and articles on their website. 


Finally many of you will remember Zoe Dickinson (or Zoe Hayes as she was). Zoe was a much loved part of Kerith and one of our key contacts at Tearfund before she moved to Cheltenham and retrained as a Wellbeing Coach, helping people with their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Zoe has produced a free Wellbeing Toolkit which could be a great first step in evaluating where you currently are and what some first steps might be in beginning to move to a healthier place. Sadly Zoe doesn't have a circular logo, which would have created a really nice symmetry to this blog, but other than that I highly recommend her!

Hope some of that helped somebody.

Keep safe and be kind (to yourself and others).

Simon.

ps. My final suggestion is to watch the Disney Film 'Inside Out' which is a masterclass in the importance of us engaging with our emotions. You can get a one month free subscription to the Disney Channel if you haven't got access to it on DVD or any other digital format!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Roy Buck


Sadly at midday on Wednesday (6th May) Roy Buck passed away. 

Roy and his lovely with Ruth have been part of Kerith for 45 years, two of those people in our community who have remained faithful through the huge changes our church has seen over the years. This has included the move into the charismatic, two major building projects, two changes of name, a change of senior leader and much more! Those of us who have joined Kerith more recently owe a debt of gratitude to the likes of Roy and Ruth who have helped lay the foundation for all God is now doing among us. In that time amongst other things Roy and Ruth have led a very successful small group in their home in Crowthorne, and were amongst the founding leaders and leading lights of TMTL, our group for the retired. 

I will always remember Roy for his gentleness and kindness. Like many of us he always sat in the same place on a Sunday (if you can remember when we did that!) and he and Ruth would always get there early which meant I could have a chat with them before the meeting began. I will miss those chats, as well as his quiet support and encouragement for me and those around me. As a leader you come to deeply appreciate the Roys in your life. 

For some time now Roy has been at Glebelands Care Home in Wokingham. Because of all the lockdown restrictions that meant that Ruth was not able to be with Roy in his final few weeks which was very hard, although Ruth was able to speak regularly to Roy on the phone. She says the staff team at the home were incredible in the care they gave Roy which was a huge comfort (let's continue to thank God for all the care workers in our nation). Please be praying for Ruth as she grieves the loss of Roy, as well as for their three sons and the many others who will be feeling the loss of such a good friend. We know that Roy has gone to a better place, and that one day we will see him again, but we still grieve him not being with us. 

The committal service for Roy will of necessity be just for the family, but once it is safe to do so we will hold a public celebration of Roy's life which I know many of us will want to attend. 

Blessings,

Simon