Vs11H reference to the need for u specific apostolate for the mentally ill in the Church it has been suggested that SAC should consider forming an organisation, on the same lines as the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council, which would provide sympathetic counselling for Catholics with problems caused by mental illness.
If this suggcstion were carried out, I am suie it would bring hope to many Catholics. who like myself, have such problems.
Sadly, the National Pastoral Congress brought no such hope. The report on mental illness mentioned the spiritual needs of the mentally handicapped (who were incorrectly placed under the title of mental illness), hut those of the mentally ill were not mentioned.
Something of the extent attic need can be seen from the fact that the Dympna Centre in Blandford Street Wl, founded by father Louis Marteau, which gives counselling to clergy and religious. both Catholics and those of other denominations, is too busy to reach the laity.
Many who are mentally ill suffer intensely. and need love and support from the Church. but often are not helped to live their life to the full in the Church. In many eases, those who suffer in this way. can offer their sufferings to God. and may he able to help other people who suffer, using their own experience to do so.
I "rsula Luard London W14