Mindful of the Light

“Practical help and spiritual hope for mental health”

Dr Stephen Critchlow

ISBN: 9781909728448

224 Pages

Published Apr 2016

Mental Health

Paperback £8.99 Kindle £5.99
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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.

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.

  • A vital resource, this warm, compassionate, practical and beautifully written book will bring help and hope to many who battle with conflicting and crippling emotions. For far too long, there has been a conspiracy of stern silence surrounding anxiety and depression in the Christian community. This book powerfully helps to break that silence. Recommended without reservation.

    Jeff Lucas, author, speaker, broadcaster
  • This book is scientifically based and is very clear, accessible and positive in its message.

    Patricia Casey, author, journalist and Professor of Psychiatry at University College, Dublin
  • Steve is a gift to the church as he has a unique ability to blend psychiatry with theology and academic insight with pastoral care. When writing on issues such as stress, depression and suicide, his style is informative, enlightening and extremely practical. If you are personally dealing with any of the topics covered or you are looking for greater knowledge and spiritual insight into mental health issues, this book is a must-read!

    Andrew McCourt, Teaching Pastor, Bayside Church, Roseville, California
  • I wish I had read Dr Steve Critchlow's book 30 years ago. As a local church pastor, I have had to deal with people who have suffered with everything from anxiety to depression. I confess at times I was at a loss to know what to do. I had little or no understanding of what they were going through and most of the time could be of little help, except to support and comfort them in some way.

    This book gives a clear picture of what is really happening when people suffer from mental health problems and offers real insight into their conditions. However, the value of the book is not in its scholarly analysis but in the hope it brings to those who are suffering.

    There are no easy, get-well-quick solutions presented, but each chapter looks at common mental health problems and offers insight, help and advice. In particular, the insights into how we can help spiritually are refreshing, enlightening and powerful.

    My mother suffered from dementia, and I wish I had read this before her condition was diagnosed. It would have helped us immensely as a family.

    I would recommend that everyone read this book, especially those involved in pastoral work and counselling, and my friends in the medical profession.

    Steve's book, I believe, will be a modern classic and a major help to those of us dealing with people who suffer from depression and other related illnesses. Steves book carries with it the weight of a professional psychiatrist and practitioner, but his easy-to-read and understandable style of writing makes it accessible to the public at large. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to those who suffer from mental illness – it will enable them to both better understand what is going on and find real help and hope.

    Paul Reid, Pastor Emeritus, Christian Fellowship Church, Strandtown, Belfast
  • Dr Critchlow has spoken on many occasions to groupings at Clonard Monastery, Belfast. Those attending found his talks most interesting, easy to follow and practical to implement. His combination of modern psychiatric study with a living spirituality was unique and inspiring. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and shares it in an appropriate way with people. Making his teaching available in written form can only be a great benefit to those who may be seeking help and understanding.

    Fr Michael Murtagh, Former Rector, Clonard Monastery, Belfast
  • I am delighted that Dr Critchlow has put into book format the content of these talks which he has been doing all around the country for some years now. As a Christian counsellor and church leader, I have been very concerned to help people both in the church and in the wider community, who are struggling with the issues of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. I have invited Steve to give his talks in the towns in our region and have found them to be very well received and a great help to people in understanding, both from a medical and spiritual point of view, their feelings and how to handle them better. I warmly commend these talks. I just wish that my pastoral training had included his material.

    In his treatment of these issues, Dr Critchlow comes across with a lovely "bedside manner" which gives you the sense that he really understands and empathises. At the same time he brings a clear analysis of the condition and very practical guidelines as to how one can be helped. This book will be a real handbook for the pastoral carer, counsellor or friend who wants to understand how to help and support someone suffering with some of these very debilitating conditions. I especially appreciate the combination of the psychiatric expertise of an experienced professional together with the spiritual wisdom of the Scriptures. I have welcomed a move away from the old Freudian treatment of religion as a neurosis to a more holistic appreciation of the value of faith and spiritual experience in our overall well-being. Well done, Steve! May your book be widely used to bring practical wisdom and help to those struggling in these areas!

    Graeme Wylie BSc, MTh, DipCouns, MIACC; Director, Hope Counselling; Former Leader of Plumbline Ministries, Ireland
  • This is a subject of which local churches know little. Often the stigma attached to mental illness means that many people will simply not feel that they can talk freely about how they feel. Providing wise, considered and yet clear spiritual leadership for both individuals and the church family in this subject is a huge challenge. Steve ably helps us as church leaders to bridge this gap. He uses his wealth of professional expertise along with his own experience of leading spiritually, to carve out for us a clear pathway for understanding mental illness as well as demonstrating how biblical faith can revolutionise lives that are blighted by such illness. I wholeheartedly commend his well thought-out instruction.

    Adrian Lowe, Pastor, Amblecote Community Church

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