In collaboration with the Catholic Health Care Association (CATHCA) of Southern Africa two Catholic Parishes in the archdiocese of Johannesburg (All Saints in Ennerdale and Our Lady of Mercy in Emdeni) embark on the implementation of Parish Mental Health Ministry.
The objective of the ministry is:
- Increasing awareness of mental health issues and reduce stigma and discrimination against those living with mental illness.
- Providing spiritual accompaniment and support for people living with mental illness.
- Welcoming people with mental illness into the sacramental and communal life of the church.
The project achievements are made possible by training and mentoring the Mental Health Ministry (MHM) parish teams in areas of mental health self-care and psycho-social support (spiritual/pastoral guidance) which will be spearheaded by CATHCA and expert stakeholders.
CATHCA trains the Parish Pastoral Council and the heads of the sodalities and the trained MHM parish teams work with community collaborators and public speakers in creating awareness campaigns, using brochures, flyers, digital resources and platforms such as the homilies at Sunday Mass, sodality gatherings, days of reflection, retreats to increase mental health awareness.
As CATHCA goes along Parish-based support groups for people with mental health illness efforts will be initiated to provide ongoing mentoring and psycho-social support.
On 20th February 2022 the Parish of Our Lady of Mercy will officially launch this ministry in the parish and will commission the team.