Clergy Counsellor - Harry SmartOne in four British adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any one year.
Clergy are not immune to having mental health problems. While there is a lot of evidence to say that spirituality or faith can be helpful in coping with mental health issues, sometimes clergy may encounter problems relating to their faith. Clergy can sometimes be isolated or lonely, feel out of their ‘comfort zone' in their work, or have relationship difficulties. Clergy have to deal with their own issues of bereavement or loss, for example, as well as support others doing so.
It may be difficult to admit to having mental health problems. Clergy can see themselves as being supposed to be able to cope. Or perhaps others impose that perception on us.
Finding someone to speak to when you are concerned about your feelings for example of depression, anxiety or stress is important.
I would encourage you to speak to your GP who may be able to help, referring you on to counselling either at the surgery, or with the appropriate mental health trust.
As a mental health chaplain and trained counsellor I bring something of an understanding of the worlds of the church and of mental health.
I am able to meet with clergy or clergy partners for one or two sessions, primarily I can offer advice on sources of counselling and support within the diocese which you can access.
Part of my work as a mental health chaplain is to reduce the stigma faced by people who have mental health problems. As we together seek to show something of Jesus' loving acceptance to those to whom we minister, it is important that we remember that we are also welcomed and accepted.
Contact Details - Harry Smart
Phone: 01522 518500
Post: Harry Smart
The Gate House
Long Leys Road