Duke of Cambridge joins CofE’s online service to mark end of Mental Health Awareness Week
This Sunday, 24th May, the Duke of Cambridge will urge people who are concerned about their mental health or that of others to reach out and start a conversation, in a contribution to this Sunday’s Church of England national online service, marking the end of Mental Health Awareness Week.
The service, led by the Revd Professor Gina Radford, a Vicar in Devon and a former Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, will include a series of prayers for all those whose mental health has been affected, their relatives, friends and carers.
She will say in her sermon that Mental Health Awareness Week has had a ‘particular significance’ this year as more people struggle with mental health and well-being.
“For some people of faith this is particularly challenging,” she will continue. “Surely, we might ask, my faith should get me through? But we need to face the reality that we are human – we are body, mind and spirit. We are all susceptible to mental ill-health, just as we are to physical ill-health.”
Revd Professor Chris Cook, Director of the Centre for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Durham University and a former Professor of Psychiatry, will say prayers for all those whose mental health has suffered because of the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Other contributors to the service include Jenny Flannagan, from the charity Youthscape and Revd Peterson Feital, Missioner to the Creative Industries in the Diocese of London and the founder and Chief Executive of The Haven + London.
Ms Flannagan, who works to support 14-19 year olds struggling with self-harm, will talk about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on young people’s mental health.
“Lots of young people are finding their anxiety is increasing, not knowing what is going to happen in the future. Lots of them are stuck in really difficult family situations, some of them are dealing with grief,” she will say.
“I pray for all the young people that I work with that we will have the right words to help them to find the next step forward, to seed hope in their imaginations that there is a way forward, that there are other ways that they can manage some of these difficulties and to know that they are not alone.”
The service will be interpreted into British Sign Language throughout and subtitles are also available. The hymns, some of which have been recorded remotely this week, are from the choirs of St Martin-in-the-Fields, directed by Andrew Earis. All were recorded separately in accordance with the rules on physical distancing. Tim Hughes kindly gave permission for the UK Blessing to be used, featuring contributions from more than 65 churches and movements across the country.
A PRAYER FOR ALL THOSE AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.