|Below is a ‘text only’ version in English|
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‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit’
www. d a y f o r l i f e . o r g
The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI’s Prayer Intentions for 2008:
Mental ill-health can happen to anyone — 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some stage in their life. Millions of people across Ireland and Britain are either living with or know someone close to them who has been affected by depression, schizophrenia, suicide, self-harm, bereavement, substance misuse or mental health difficulties at some stage in their lives. Day for Life – the day in the Church’s year dedicated to celebrating the sacredness of life – will focus this year on the theme of mental health. It will help raise awareness of the needs of those affected by mental ill-health, their friends, their family and their carers, and the support that the parish community can bring.
Christ is very close to the broken-hearted
Jesus comes to bring sight to the blind and light to those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death. Much of Jesus’earthly ministry was to those who were oppressed by mental illness. Increasingly it is understood that spirituality has an important role in healing; people in distress can find a renewed purpose and meaning in their lives when they recognise how much they are valued in the eyes of God the Father. While Christian faith does not offer an instant cure to mental illness, it can mark the beginning of a journey of healing. Christ brings those living on the margins of society back into the heart of the community.
Understanding mental health problems
So what can parishes do?
The majority of people with a mental illness get better or learn to manage their symptoms in daily life. The parish community has a very important role to play in accompanying people as they journey towards recovery.
DAY FOR LIFE 2008: MENTAL HEALTH
Mental ill-health can happen to anyone — 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some stage in their life. Day for Life – the day in the Church’s year dedicated to celebrating the sacredness of life – will focus this year on the theme of mental health.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S DAY FOR LIFE IN IRELAND – 5 October 2008
USEFUL CONTACTS AND RESOURCES
MENTAL HEALTH HELPLINES
A mobile phone text service is also now available to facilitate people seeking information on mental health and/or for those looking for support. Text the word HeadsUp to 50424. This HeadsUp text service is organised by RehabCare.
www.nahc.ie – National Association of Hospital Chaplains
www.catholichealthcare.ie – includes Pope Benedict XVI’s message for the Catholic Church’s World Day of the Sick, 2006, specifically addressing mental health
Contributions can be made to ‘Day for Life’ Fund, c/o Irish Bishops’ Conference, Hierarchy General Purposes Trust (Charity No CHY5956), Columba Centre, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
This Day for Life Pastoral Letter is also available in the Irish and Polish languages online on the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference website www.catholicbishops.ie
The text of this leaflet is available in large print: www.dayforlife.org
PRAYER FOR LIFE 2008: MENTAL HEALTH
We thank you Lord for the gift of life.
Help us to appreciate the unique dignity
of every human person and the individual
contribution they make to the world, in
fulfilment of the task you give them.
Enable us by your grace to promote their
well-being, serving you in one another in
a spirit of generosity, through Christ Jesus
Our Lord, Amen.
Psal m 34