Living Catholic e-News October 2019

Mental illness guidelines released

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Catholic communities across Australia are being urged to help shatter the stigma surrounding mental illness by supporting and welcoming those who suffer and their families.
With one in five Australians experiencing a mental health illness each year and mental illness being the third-leading cause of disability, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference recently released new mental illness and outreach guidelines for parishes.
In a letter to parishes throughout Australia in preparation for World Mental Health Day on October 10, Bishop Don Sproxton said the motivation to create the new resources was captured in the powerful opening words of the document’s title ‘Do Not Be Afraid’ from Matthew’s Gospel.
“These powerful words challenge us all to be authentic. The Christian community is mandated to include every member by acknowledging their baptismal call, and their gifts and presence,” he said.
“The guidelines provide parishes with very useful information about mental illness in its various forms and the issue of suicide in Australia receives special attention.
To access the guidelines and associated resource materials, including a prayer card and poster, go here.
Photo: Sr Myree Harris RSJ, acting chair of the Australian Catholic Disability Council, with the new resource “Do Not Be Afraid.”

See October e-newsletter here