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ss triple helix - summer 2016,  Mindful of the light

Mindful of the light

Practical help and spiritual hope for mental health
Stephen Critchlow

Instant Apostle, 2016, £8.99 Pb 224pp, ISBN 1909728446
Reviewed by Ken Yeow, Consultant Psychiatrist based in Belfast

I found this to be an extremely helpful book. It makes a vital contribution to the important area of mental health and spirituality. The material has developed out of a series of talks that the author presented in various settings and this helps make the writing very readable. There is systematic coverage of six important mental health issues (stress and anxiety, depression, suicidality, addictions, schizophrenia, dementia). For each topic Critchlow presents a chapter containing core, empirically-validated information followed by a chapter on the spiritual help potentially available.

There is a balance of clinical acumen honed from years of frontline psychiatric practice at senior level as well as deep pastoral sensitivity arising from mature Christian discipleship and ministry. Chapters are brought to life by ample illustrations and case studies. Resources for further exploration are suggested.

I think this book can have wide application. Those who struggle will find good information and comfort. Those who care for them will be resourced to provided well-informed help. Every church leader would benefit from having a copy to refer to. Because of its practical utility and grace-filled essence, this is one of the books that I am able to heartily recommend to those with any interest at all in the interface between Christianity and mental health issues.

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