MindMatters projects underway in Connor parishes

Thursday March 2nd 2023

A number of projects aimed at improving positive mental health are being run by parishes and bodies in Connor Diocese as part of the MindMatters COI initiative.

A total of 74 projects across the Church of Ireland’s 11 dioceses received funding through MindMatters COI, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Benefact Trust. 

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.

The projects in Connor Diocese are:

  • St Patrick’s, Ballymena – Together again: Bringing young people together in fun and fellowship to reconnect and build relationships and friendships.
  • Christ Church, Lisburn – Take Five Steps to Wellbeing: Promoting Take Five Steps to Wellbeing by holding workshops targeted at leaders, staff and men in the parish.
  • Connor Children’s Ministry – Sunday School Mental Health Resource: Developing a four-session resource to help Sunday School teachers to speak to children in their parishes about mental health and how to look after their mental wellbeing.
  • St Bartholomew’s, Stranmillis – Soup and Sandwich Club: Bringing older members of the community together after protracted separation during Covid-19, improving health and wellbeing through connections.
  • Lisburn Cathedral – Sunny intervals: Provision of mental health supports to adults and young people, including group meetings for mutual support and to hear from mental health professionals; training courses and online resources for young people; and development of a youth and young adult mentoring programme.
  • Magheragall Parish – Project Restart: Reintroducing a range of activities that had been suspended due to Covid-19 to bring the parish together, providing invaluable social activity, shared positive experiences and helping to address mental health and faith.
  • Christ Church, Lisburn – Our Minds Matter:  An inter-faith and cross-community series of events including aguided retreat for up to 20 church leaders, a ‘walk and talk’ morning in nature, and a ‘Supporting Better Mental Health’ training event.

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. 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.

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