A new project to help build resilience in first-time mums is being launched this month by Sarah Condie, Co-director of ADM’s Mental Health & Pastoral Care Institute, who is also Women's Pastor at Church by the Bridge in Kirribilli, Sydney. Sarah is working in collaboration with Lyn Worsley, Clinical Psychologist and Director of The Resilience Centre, and member of Church by the Bridge.
The project has become a reality thanks to a grant from Fuller Seminary. It will run for nine months and offer a series of three short courses to a large group of first-time mums, who already meet on a regular basis at Church by the Bridge. The courses include: ‘Resilient Mums’, ‘Attachment and Mental Health’ and ‘Emotional Coaching’. Later in the year, Sarah and Lyn also plan to run a parenting course called ‘Circle of Security’. It is hoped that this model might help other churches learn how to better support and care for first-time mums as they adjust to this new season in their life.
Lyn and Sarah are both excited about the possibilities of this project. Lyn says: “Resilience is a skill that works best when there are already strong social connections provided by a family or a supportive community. Churches do community really well, so it will be exciting to help this church community develop skills in what The Resilience Centre does well.”
Sarah says: “In my role with the Mental Health & Pastoral Care Institute, I am acutely aware that becoming a mum is one of the most challenging seasons women face. Many women suffer from isolation and loneliness, as well as depression and anxiety. If we are able to do anything that equips women to face this season of life better, it is worth doing. If this project is seen to be successful, it may be something we can replicate in other church settings. That is exciting!”