There are a number of resources, online, in books, over the telephone, etc, that I would like to point people to.
When in Crisis
If you are feeling suicidal, or that you might harm yourself or others then don’t feel afraid to go to your local Accident & Emergency, or ring 999. They do have specialists in mental health in A&E, and the worst that can happen is you spend some time in hospital – it isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and it did help me recover. This also applies if you have hurt yourself.
If you don’t want/need to go to A&E remember that you can ring your GP and/or any psychiatric people you have available (such as CPNs, Psychiatrists, Counsellors etc). Talk to someone, if you are in a crisis, they are there to help.
Alternatively you have telephone helplines such as The Samaritans who can be contacted by phone – 08457 90 90 90 (ROI: 1850 60 90 90), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can write (snail mail) or visit them, check their website. They do not charge for their services (I believe phone companies charge a small amount) and they are confidential. You can talk to them about anything.
For specifically Christian help, you can ring Premier Lifeline on 0845 345 0707 (BT Local Rate) or 020 7316 0808 which offers Christian help and prayer in a confidential way. They are open from 9am to Midnight every day.
I don’t know of other helplines, I would be interested in learning more.
There are, of course, a load of interesting websites of varying usefulness out there, these are some that I think are helpful.
Christianity.org.uk is a non-denominational presentation of the Gospel, of who Jesus is and what Christians believe. It is very simple and easy to understand.
Pray One For Me is a Church of England website where anyone can post a prayer, and all prayers are well, prayed for.
The Lysamena Project on Self-Injury is one of the very few Christian sites that address self-harm, and is well worth checking out if you also suffer with this.
Abdullam Ministries is run by Abigail Robson, author of “Secret Scars” a book about overcoming self harm. She is a Christian and this website also features a forum. UK based. She can also be booked to teach in churches/etc if you wish.
The Christian and Mental Illness is a series from the Internet Monk. It is a good series, which attempts to talk about mental illness as an illness rather than a sign of spiritual failure.
ChristianForums is a massive online message board which I used to be a member of. To be honest I found it too large and intimidating, but I am including it here because it has specific boards for Christians who have a variety of mental illnesses and also for those who self harm.
I will add more to this as I find it! If you know of any Christian, mental-health focussed sites, let me know, either here or at believersbrain[at]yahoo.com
I will attempt to review these books at some point in the future, but here is a list of the various Christian books on mental health or related issues that I have found. All the links take you to Amazon UK and yes, I will get something if you buy.
Secret Scars: One Woman’s Story of Overcoming Self-Harm by Abigail Robson.
Blade Silver: Color Me Scarred by Melody Carson (Fiction)
Depression: The Way Up When You Are Down by Edward T Welch
Self-Injury by Edward T Welch (these two are pamphlets, he also has books which I haven’t read on bipolar, depression and addictions)
Depression: A Rescue Plan by Jim Winters. A balanced view.
Darkness is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness by Kathryn Greene-McCreight. Definitely recommend this one!
Inside a Cutter’s Mind: Understanding and Helping Those Who Self-Injure by Jerusha Clark.
“My Name is Legion”: The Story and Soul of the Gerasene Demoniac by Michael Willett Newheart. Read my (semi) review here.
The Pastoral Care of People with Mental Health Problems by Marion L.S. Carson
Self Harm: The Path to Recovery by Kate Middleton