To mark World Mental Health Day 2022, the Church of Ireland announced a series of seed funding projects that will be taking place across the island.
A total of 74 projects, including several in Connor Diocese, have received funding through the MindMatters COI project, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Benefact Trust. These projects are spread across all 11 dioceses of the Church.
In Connor they include: Christ Church, Lisburn, for Our Minds Matter; Magheragall Parish Church for Project Restart; St Bartholomew’s, Stranmillis, for its Soup and Sandwich Club; Lisburn Cathedral for Sunny Intervals; Ballymena Parish for Together Again and Connor Children’s Ministry for its Sunday School Mental Health Resource.
The launch of the projects marks the beginning of the third year of MindMatters COI. The projects build on initial research carried out by MindMatters COI and a programme of mental health awareness training, in which over 400 members of the clergy and lay people participated, over the last 12 months.
Archbishop John McDowell, Primate of All Ireland, and Bishop Pat Storey, Chair of MindMatters, welcome the practical actions being taken to improve positive mental health across the island.
The experiences and lessons learned from the projects will be discussed at the MindMatters all-island conference which will take place in Dublin on Friday October 20 2023. The conference, which will be addressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, will also provide an opportunity to consider the future direction of mental health initiatives within the Church of Ireland.
Andrew Bass, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “It is fantastic to see that so many amazing and varied projects have received funding through the seed funding initiative. It shows that there are positive actions going on in the Church of Ireland to address mental health needs, and it’s encouraging that the projects represent all dioceses.
“We’re privileged to fund MindMatters COI and the incredible work it’s doing to promote positive mental health within the church and the wider community.”