Thursday, December 3, 2015

Solace for the soul

From Anglican Journal-

Religion, say some mental health experts, has at times been a mixed blessing for people of faith struggling with mental illness—but the picture is changing, bringing new hope for the afflicted.

Sr. Dorothy Heiderscheit, chief executive officer of The Southdown Institute, a psychological treatment facility for clergy outside Toronto, says that priests struggling with mental health problems have often faced a barrier to getting help, based on the notion that their faith should be sufficient and that they, therefore, needn’t turn to psychology.

However, Heiderscheit says, a growing awareness in recent decades of what mental illness is, and of the complex relationship between faith and psychology, has considerably dismantled this block to seeking help. One result of this has been a change in the mindset of clerics coming to Southdown. “Their attitude is different from the days of just being ordered to come,” she says. “They come knowing that they’ve got something to look at, and grateful that they’ve got a safe environment to do it.”

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