James Sunderland questions the Church Commissioners about mental health support in the Church of England

James Sunderland questions the Church Commissioners about the Church of England and mental health support and the impact of covid-19 on young people working in the church in particular.

Covid-19: Mental Health

James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)

What steps the Church of England is taking to support mental health during the covid-19 outbreak. [905855]

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous)

This is a timely question from my hon. Friend, on World Suicide Prevention Day. The Church’s healthcare chaplains work in both acute and community mental health services. The diocese of Manchester provides mental health wellbeing youth workers, to provide mental health first aid, and the parish of Goudhurst in Kilndown in Kent provides subsidised mental health counselling in 13 schools.

James Sunderland

Given the current crisis and the inability of young people to meet, what impact is covid-19 having on the young persons working for the Church in that good work?

Andrew Selous

My hon. Friend raises an important point. His own diocese, the diocese of Oxford, reports that connection with young people has been greatly reduced throughout lockdown. With the new measures to suppress the virus coming in on Monday, churches can hold services tailored to young people, as many already do, and church youth groups can continue to meet in multiple groups of six or fewer. I hope that churches will consider those options to increase the number of young people involved with the life of the Church.