anglican focus

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Mental health

Features Features

Advent and clergy wellbeing

“It has been absolutely clear in the COVID-19 environment that self-care is vital for all those in ministry, as for all in the caring professions. This learning is an important one for clergy and lay ministers to take into the Advent season,” says The Rev’d Dr Daniel Rouhead from Resource Church St Bart’s, Toowoomba

"Your stress responses may be different to mine, but be attentive to them, and seek assistance and support as soon as you can" (The Rev'd Canon Sarah Plowman)

Myth busting clergy mental health

“It is my practice now to see a psychologist six times each year, in between visits to my Spiritual Director. I also look out for the signs that I’m not coping – withdrawing or striving to be creative out of an empty bucket – and attend to them before they become a problem,” says The Rev’d Canon Sarah Plowman


Are you an altruistic perfectionist?

“As a teenager, I didn’t tell anyone I was seeing a psychiatrist – I was far too embarrassed. Now, of course, I know just how healthy and normal it is to seek help and I would encourage anyone who is struggling to search out someone with professional expertise to give you the assistance you need,” says Bishop Jeremy Greaves


Clergy are called to care for their people, but who cares when the carer needs care?

“There are both predictable and unexpected times when clergy will feel more depressed, anxious or stressed. A virus like COVID-19 and 2020’s associated stresses are completely new and unexpected, so the recent NCLS snapshot figures are not surprising,” say counsellor Marilyn Redlich and PMC Executive Director Stephen Harrison, who offer practical suggestions for addressing stress, anxiety and depression


Learning to recalibrate

“My doctor recently advised me to reduce or even stop my running as I have dodgy and painful arthritic knees…So these last few months have been tough for me, as I work out what strategies I will embrace to manage stress and the unique demands of a clergyperson’s role…Too often we shoulder our burdens alone. Finding the right people to talk to is vital and being open about our very human struggles is also greatly important,” says Bishop John Roundhill, as part of a special anglican focus series on clergy mental health


Push For Better

“Many of the most vulnerable people when it comes to mental health are vulnerable because they are in some way different from the expectation. Sadly, this too often leads to social ostracism or outright bullying, putting significant stress on people,” says The Rev’d Andrew Schmidt