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Mindful of the Light: Practical help and spiritual hope for mental health


Mindful of the Light: Practical help and spiritual hope for mental health

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    Available in PDF Format | Mindful of the Light: Practical help and spiritual hope for mental health.pdf | English
    Dr Stephen Critchlow(Author)
Many people today are living with mental health issues. How do we recognise symptoms? What can we do to help? Does it help to have faith? Stephen Critchlow is a Christian psychiatrist with many years experience in the field of mental health. In Mindful of the Light, he presents an invaluable resource for all who are living with mental health issues, whether as sufferers or carers. Drawing on his rich professional knowledge, he offers clear information about the causes and symptoms of a wide range of problems together with helpful insights into everyday struggles and practical steps that can be taken. He also looks at the role faith can play for those going through the difficult and stormy times mental health problems can cause. This clear and well-written resource is a must for anyone in the church who desires to have a greater understanding of mental health and some of the very real issues that so many are wrestling with today.

Stephen Critchlow qualified in medicine from Cambridge University and trained in psychiatry in London and Northern Ireland where he became a consultant. He has been a church leader in London, Ireland and Cyprus. Mindful of the Light comes from his experience of talking widely on faith and mental health issues.

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Book details

  • PDF | 232 pages
  • Dr Stephen Critchlow(Author)
  • Instant Apostle (24 April 2016)
  • English
  • 4
  • Health, Family & Lifestyle

Review Text

  • By A. Scott on 5 June 2017

    This book is a very good introduction to mental health issues. Dr Stephen Critchlow deals with stress and anxiety; depression; suicide; addictions, schizophrenia and dementia. He explains clearly what each different mental health issue entails, and how to best treat it from both a secular and spiritual point of view. It is this latter point that makes the book unique - the inclusion of God, prayer and the church as the additional weapon in the Christian's arsenal when helping a person with a mental health issue. My only criticism of the book is that the author struggles to find his writing 'voice'. At times it reads as a collection of notes and is written in a scientific manner befitting a report; occasionally it is rather formal; in other sections it is less formal. I think perhaps that is why I enjoyed the final chapter on dementia best - I felt that the author had finally found his voice. This is a book that I will dip into again and again. I hope Critchlow will consider writing a more specialist book in the future, focusing on only one of the mental health issues in this book. Maybe a whole series of mini books would work well? I feel he has much more to say on each subject and it would be immensely helpful to those who wish to study mental health issues in greater depth.

  • By L. Raffray on 20 May 2017

    Mindful of the LightThis book is innovative in that it truly takes a holistic view to mental health, including, indeed highlighting the spiritual as well as the scientific medical approach.It was a wonderful book. Too often Christians can feel that they should be above mental health problems. The joy of knowing God and Jesus should shine light with no room for darkness. Yet we are all human and mental health issues can strike any of us. This book rather than letting our faith somehow berate us, highlights how our faith can support us as we heal.The author knows what he is talking about. He is a Christian psychiatrist, a preacher and a church leader and thus ideally placed to discuss mental health from a psychiatric and spiritual perspective. Following an interesting introduction, his pattern for the rest of the book is to write a chapter considering the condition, providing a full description of the problems and challenges including case histories and then to go on to discuss various treatment options in detail. The following chapter will focus on spiritual help for this particular condition. He covers the person with stress and anxiety, the person with depression, the person who is suicidal, the person with addictions, the person with schizophrenia, and the person with dementia. The final chapter is a concluding discussion on faith and mental health.The book is extremely informative and easy to read. I know I will keep it on hand as a reference should family and friends suffer from these issues. It is both informative and inspiring.I received this book free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

  • By Ann on 8 May 2017

    This is a good introductory book for someone who has limited experience of mental health and wants some idea of how to support those with mental health difficulties in an immediate setting. Dr Critchlow demonstrates a ‘no nonsense’, practical approach to mental health.However this is not a book for those who are looking for ideas and strategies to work on in an on-going pastoral setting with individuals who have mental health difficulties. It does not cover the full range of mental health disorders for e.g. personality disorders or deal with the issues of depression and anxiety as secondary diagnosis’.I was disappointed that Dr Critchlow’s book did not evidence an integration of the spiritual perspective and supportive techniques. There has been a lot of recent interest recently for example in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment therapy) therapy where it is possible to use Christian principles and values to support an individual in their recovery.However this would be a helpful text at the beginning of a journey to increase understanding and begin to work removing the stigma around mental health. Dr Critchlow's book is also very accessible in style.I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

  • By P on 29 June 2017

    This book is an excellent resource on a number of mental health conditions, one or more of which we will all come across, or suffer from, at some point in our lives. So this is information that we all will find useful. Dr Stephen Crichlow is an experienced professional, but writes in a clear and informed manner. The book follows the pattern of talks that he gives on mental health in that each topic is given two chapters. The first is titled "The person with..." which reveals the person-centred pastoral approach. The information given is helpful for identifying symptoms and understanding behaviours in those we care for (or in ourselves) which may be indicative of an illness and then ways in which the person, and their carers, can be helped and supported. This is followed by a chapter about Spiritual help for the person with the condition, which explains how the Christian faith relates to thus aspect of mental health. Dr Critchlow is practical, balanced and realistic in his advice here, recognising the power of God to heal through medicine and therapy, but also allowing for and relating occasional occurrences of more dramatic healing. I once heard a church member with depression say their church would have coped and supported him better if his arm had been in plaster - would that this book had been available as required reading for that congregation back then! Subjects covered are stress and anxiety, depression, suicidal feelings, addiction, schizophrenia, and dementia. A concluding chapter gives an overview on faith and mental health problems. This book should not just be on every Pastor's shelf, but owned by anyone – Christian or not – who wants to better understand and care for loved ones with mental health issues.

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