News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

mental health 1 banner.jpg
mental health 1.jpg
Islandstock / Alamy Stock Photo
World News

Church can do more for mental health as Met Police scale back responsibility

by Premier Journalist

The Christian founder of a mental health charity has called churches to step up in supporting mental health strugglers.

It comes as the Metropolitan Police say they will no longer attend emergency calls related to mental health where a medical professional would be better suited.

The force will only intervene where there is a danger to life. It won't look for people who've walked out of hospitals, or attend welfare checks where a patient's skipped medication.

Right Care, Right Person' is a new NHS initiative which bosses say it will allow officers to focus on fighting crime.

Founder of the mental health charity Kintsugi Hope, Patrick Regan says he's cautiously optimistic about the new plans, which he hopes will mean vulnerable people will get better support quicker. 

"I think everyone recognises that people are more needing more sort of pastoral support than being cuffed and taken to a&e. And so there's going to be details that need to be worked out. I'm a little bit scared how fast it's moving already the first of November, and I know some charities are going hang on a minute, we need to do this right.

"But I think in principle, you know, I saw newspapers today that eight in ten people sectioned in London would benefit more from community support than a hospital admission.

"But as usual, it's crisis management, which we're talking about. And I guess that many of us in the voluntary sector have been crying out for longer, more sort of prevention strategy for many years now."

Regan says that churches can make a genuine impact on the issue by hosting crisis cafes where there are trained professionals are available. He told Premier he's seen successful trialling in Lincoln.

"If the church exists for anything, surely it is to create safe and supportive spaces. So why can't we have cafes and churches all across the UK, as long as people are trained, as long as people are committed? If there's safeguarding in place, it could be a really amazing opportunity to provide people with real care, and I'm glad people starting to think preventative. I think the key thing is strategies that creates good mental health, as well as treating mental ill health. I think that's what we're crying out for that we need to think both and and that's what I'm longing for in the government to do much more of."

Regan, who's new book Brighter Days aims to equip Christian readers with tool strengthen wellbeing. He says the church could do with offering greater clarity when it comes to pastorally supporting mental health. 

"I really want to pray that the church would really sort of rise up and be part of the solution. I feel like, you know, with food bank, and cat and street pastors, we've done such an amazing job in so many areas. But when it comes to the area of mental health, I think in terms of our theology, sometimes it's been quite confused. And I think we need a robust theology of mental health, but I feel like Come on church, we could do so much to provide people with the support that they need at the moment."

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email