Resources on Mental Health During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is one that many expect to be filled with joy and happiness. But the holidays can also be a time of stress and unrealistic expectations. What are some helpful ways for our church leaders, for families and for friends to help us deal with those stressors?   Mental Health Ministries has produced their Holiday 2015  E spotlight newsletter filled with resources that could be used for self help and for inclusion in our church services   Take time to look at the Mental Health Ministries website each month or to subscribe free to their newsletter so that it comes regularly .

Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder writes in this newsletter: “ When we feel overwhelmed by circumstances and expectations, it is a challenge to “choose” hope when feeling hopeless. Yet it is our faith traditions that remind us that hope is real and that the future will be better than the present. We can choose to believe in that future with the assurance we are loved and accepted by a loving God just as we are.”  These are several resources on coping with the holidays for persons with mental illness

  1. Brochure: Mental Illness: Coping with the Holidays . This can be downloaded free from the Mental Health Ministries website in English or in Spanish.
  2. Winter darkness is upon us in Canada. How can we understand the chronic mental illness of seasonal affective disorder and what can faith communities do intentionally to encourage healthy winter coping.  Bulletin Insert – What is Seasonal Affective Disorder
  3. Blue Christmas and Blue Holiday Worship Services – Many sites on the internet provide worship resources that could be used for a Blue Christmas or Longest Night worship services. Blue Christmas services create reflective and responsive services for those facing losses, grief or depression.  A Blue Christmas Worship Resource Index ( has been produced by Frederick Buechner a pastor, author and teacher who is guided “to strengthen and deepen our corporate conversations with God” . The resource list includes Advent Wreath Litanies, Calls to worship, Prayers, Confession and Words of Assurance, Benedictions and Miscellaneous Resources  for Blue Christmas Worship elements.  This is a resource that also addresses other aspects of worship for worship planners and leaders over the church year.
  4. Article: Have a Little Faith (com )written by Robin Flanigan in Hope and Harmony Headlines an e-newsletter which offers”the latest research, news, healthy lifestyle features and inspirational profiles for our bipolar community.”
  5. A prayer included in a Blue Christmas Worship resource Index: 

Prayer: God’s Timing

O God of all seasons and senses,

grant us the sense of your timing

to submit gracefully and rejoice quietly in the turn of the seasons.

In this season of short days and long nights,

of grey and white and cold,

teach us the lessons of endings;

children growing, friends leaving, loved ones dying,

grieving over,

grudges over,

blaming over,

excuses over.

O God, grant us a sense of your timing.

In this season of short days and long nights,

of grey and white and cold,

teach us the lessons of beginnings;

that such waitings and endings may be the starting place,

a planting of seeds which bring to birth what is ready to be born—

something right and just and different,

a new song, a deeper relationship, a fuller love—

in the fullness of your time.

O God, grant us the sense of your timing.

~ written by Ted Loder, in Guerrillas of Grace.…