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Live Well Together: mental health training offered to churches

Many existing training courses help develop individual understanding of mental health conditions and good practice for identifying and responding to those experiencing difficulty. Live Well Together offers a whole-church approach, to build communities that can go beyond crisis support to flourish together day in and day out.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has endorsed the approach:

"I’ve seen how mental health problems impact not just a single life, but ripple out to affect families and communities. Too often, our response takes an individualised medical approach that focuses solely on diagnosis and treatment, overlooking the strengths each community can bring to help each other to live a healthy life.

“That’s why I’m pleased to commend Livability’s ‘Live Well Together' workshop. It provides churches with the much needed tools to take a community approach to mental health, so that we can all thrive together."

Churches can offer support and build wellbeing together

Corin Pilling, Deputy Director of Public Engagement for Livability said: “Churches have a unique opportunity to become places where it’s not only accepted to talk about struggles and find support, but also build practices that can help the whole community’s wellbeing.

“Live Well Together represents a vision of community in the Bible where our wellbeing is tied into that of everybody. Mental health is not just the priority of somebody experiencing difficulty – it’s something we all share. When we build a healthy community together, we live in a way which is able to include others as we learn to build resilience.”

Who is it for, and how do churches find out more?

Live Well Together is for anybody interested in helping their church develop mental health awareness and wellbeing, whether a member of the congregation or in leadership. It is designed be a great starting point for non-professionals to plan their response. It is recommended that at least two people from each church attend the training.

Andy Parnham, Livability’s Wellbeing Coordinator said: “As we developed the training we heard positive stories of how those experiencing periods of poor mental ill health had found support when they most needed it. Others shared some painful experiences of how churches had struggled to offer welcome or support which helped. The training will help churches develop an authentic and positive response in an area which is complex, but one where churches have a vital contribution to bring.”

Livability, the disability charity that connect people with their communities are offering an opportunity for churches to develop a positive response to mental health. Following on from discussion-starting resources such as Lifting the Lid, Live Well Together was developed with the input of mental health professionals and those who have experienced mental health issues themselves.

In a day’s training, leaders and community members meet together to depend understanding of mental health and commit to responding as a community.

Find more at www.livability.org.uk/livewell

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