“Mental illness affects approximately 3.2 million Australians in a 12 month period, with 3 percent of the overall population experiencing a severe mental illness that in most cases has a profound effect on the ability of the person to live an independent, productive and satisfactory life, and impacts heavily on their family, friendship network and the community”1

Mental illness is a growing problem in our community2 but one where community can play a great part in promoting mental health, preventing illness and assisting the person to recover and contribute to community life3 New approaches to mental health and suicide prevention may be needed that include public health, sociological and community approaches which can combine with the more traditional medical approach4.

Recovery

Today, most of a person’s recovery occurs at home rather than in a hospital, so family, friends, church, community and the person’s workplace have important roles to play in facilitating the person’s recovery journey. Carers say they want more support and respite from the significant personal, financial and social burden they carry because they live with and care for a person with severe and persisting mental illness5. Recovery occurs within a web of relationships between the person, their family and community “and is contextualised by culture, privilege or oppression, history, and the social determinants of health. Recovery also occurs within the context of gender, age and developmental stages”6. The significance of meaningful relationships, solid community connections, and the ability to actively participate in community life all facilitate a person’s recovery. It highlights the need for practitioners and services to address all of the social determinants of health and wellbeing in the person’s ongoing care plan.

Faith community nursing can facilitate these connections and personal strengths that promote the person’s recovery....To keep reading this article click here

Articles exploring the FCN role and mental health support

Supporting the family of a person living with mental illness

The family of the person living with mental health challenges can neither cause nor fix their family member’s illness. The family are often tired, frustrated and this is best ameliorated by your understanding and encouragement. The article covers 10 ways to support the family of a person living with mental illness.

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Becoming a purveyor of hope (article in Wholehealth newsletter p.3-4)

‘What our community really needs are more prevails of hope! People who are willing to help a person with mental illness see a future they can achieve, and encourage them in the process of attaining that future.’. So begins the article that explores what hope is, how hope is ignited and the role of health and care ministry workers, and FCNs in promoting hope.

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Share doing life together (article in Wholehealth newsletter p.5)

‘Share - doing life together’ is a regional model of community care to support people recovering from severe mental illness who are discharged from the Community Mental Health Service but who are socially isolated in the community, and therefore at risk of relapse. The article describes the Faith Community Nursing model with the developing Davey framework and shares the voices of participants in the group.

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Working with the person recovering from addiction within the church

Based on years of experience of working with people grappling with addiction, the author of the article explores the slide into addiction before looking at healing addiction and how the church can help.

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How to journey with those in grief

Grief is the process to adjust to loss, and while normal, grief in Western society is not always experienced well. The article covers the importance of the words ‘Jesus wept’ (John 11:35), looks at understanding grief as a process and some key responses we can make to those who are grieving.

To read more click here 

 

FCN's have an opportunity to positively impact our nation's mental health

Mental illness is a growing problem in our community but one where community can play a great part in promoting mental health, preventing illness and assisting the person to recover and contribute to community life. The article covers the burden of disease, explores recovery and how churches have a message of hope given through the t unconditional loving support, care and encouragement of others within our faith community, anchored in the completed work of Jesus Christ.

To read more click here

References

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Photo credit Kristina Litvjak on Unsplash