MENTAL HEALTH: THE INCLUSIVE CHURCH RESOURCE - Jean Vanier & John Swinton

As a non religious reader, this book’s theological arguments resonate with ethical and logical strength. The case studies show the church struggling to support people in their mental distress. The authors argue that doing so is not an optional add-on but the fundamental test of what the church stands for. Safety. Relationships. True listening. Patience. Forbearance. Stillness.

Recognising the universal need to be loved that underpins the sometimes challenging behaviour of people in distress. The power of the ‘small things’ advocated represents a welcome antidote to much current mental health ‘care’ that is short-term, reductive and mechanistic. Healing comes from living with and learning from. If we open our hearts to the ‘confusion of others’ we will recognise it as our own.

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