Mental Health & Pastoral Care Institute
To support reformed evangelical churches in Sydney and beyond in providing excellent, biblically and theologically informed pastoral care that alleviates distress and promotes wellbeing, especially to those suffering from mental illness.
Key values and beliefs
- We reflect God’s loving concern for the spiritual, mental, emotional, physical and social wellbeing of all.
- We are convinced that the gospel of Jesus Christ speaks into all life contexts to provide grace and encouragement, and to alleviate distress.
- We believe that ministries of care and compassion to people who are in need and suffering distress are a fitting outworking and fruit of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Our approach is holistic. We believe that the reality of human embodiment means that physiological and psychological processes affect mental health. Therefore, Christian believers suffering mental illness, as well as requiring pastoral care, will normally require assistance from professionals working in the area of mental health.
- We believe that pastoral care is a necessary complement, but not a competitor, to the work of mental health professionals.
- Recognising that God has created an ordered world open to human investigation, we affirm the value of making use of the wisdom obtained from scientific enquiry and from evidence-based treatments.
- With regard to mental health, we believe that, whenever possible, prevention is better than cure.
The people we will serve
Initial focus: those involved in pastoral ministry in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney
Future scope: beyond the Sydney locality
Particular target: the Christian community, with the potential to connect with the wider community
End goal: It is hoped that ultimately the Institute will make a worldwide contribution.
Key areas of focus
The MH&PCI will function across three broad levels:
Prevention – providing programs and other resources that strengthen and enrich arenas that are formative for robust mental health;
Equipping – providing training and resource materials so that pastors and other members of churches can care for each other more effectively;
Supporting – providing assistance to alleviate the distress of those suffering with long-term mental health issues, both the individuals concerned and those caring for them.
The theoretical convictions informing the work of the MH&PCI
The Mental Health and Pastoral Care Institute seeks to:
- encourage gospel-shaped and informed pastoral care in churches and other contexts
- provide resources and services pertaining to pastoral care and mental health that are an appropriate outworking of the gospel
- apply the gospel to enhance mental, emotional and spiritual health
- help alleviate suffering in a manner consistent with the traditional work of Anglican Deaconess Ministries
- use and apply best-practice psychological research and principles to assist in the provision of wise pastoral care
- support the ministry of the Word and prayer, and the presence of caring fellow believers, in the provision of pastoral care
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