Grow exists ‘To enable people with mental health conditions or illness to take their responsible and caring place in society’.

I am delighted to have been invited to their meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday 27th Feb 2018) hosted by Clonard Monastery, Belfast BT13 2 RL at 7-30 pm in the conference room. The program will commence with an introductory talk on GROW-what it is how it works and who it is for. Then I will give a talk on Anxiety and Stress Management followed by questions. After a tea break I will give a further short talk on Spiritual issues relating to anxiety.

Snowdrops growing on our front lawn.

I have enjoyed speaking at GROW events before in Dundalk and Letterkenny and am looking forward to this event. They have many stories of those who have been helped through their weekly support and twelve step programs and they seek to provide a caring and sharing community.

I hope you will be able to support this initiative of GROW IN NORTHERN IRELAND



On Friday evening 23rd February I will be giving talks in King’s Church Catford.

Themes will be-

What is Depression and What treatments are available?
-Finding God in Depression

Many people struggle with depression and often do not understand what they are going through. What causes it and how can it be treated?

Are there spiritual aspects to Depression? How can God help us in stormy times?
All are welcome 7pm. There will be a tea break in the middle. Sessions are free

So welcome to Mental Health talks at King’s Church Catford



Mental Health is a big problem for many people. Around one in four people will need treatment for a mental health issue at some stage in their lives. Those struggling with depression, anxiety or addictions often wish they could obtain clear and relevant information and ask questions about what deeply bothers them. Also, carers, professionals and community leaders often wish they understood these problems better, so they can offer practical advice and help to those who may be suffering.

Dr. Stephen Critchlow, a retired psychiatrist, and author of the book, Mindful of the Light-practical help and spiritual hope for Mental Health is coming to Manchester to lead a series of three talks on mental health issues.


These talks will be in THE LIFE CENTRE 235 Washway Road, Sale M33 4BP on Friday 16th Feb (7-30-9-30pm) and Saturday 17th Feb (9-30-1-00pm).

Topics will be on Friday, Anxiety and Stress Management, and on Saturday, Understanding Addictions, and What is Depression and what treatments are available?

Each of the mental health talks in Sale is in two parts. First, there is a presentation of the subject with questions. Then following a short break there is an optional spiritual reflection on the topic concerned. Entrance is free but a small donation is appreciated. All are welcome.

These talks have been held in many towns and cities in the UK and Ireland, and have been much appreciated by the many who have attended previously. Registration is encouraged in advance on Eventbrite for these mental health talks in Sale.

Dealing with Stress

Last time I talked about how to do a stress diary. This helps to identify the sources of stress in our lives. Then as we examine the diary we can begin to understand  what changes we can make. Taking responsibility for reducing our stress levels can be very important for us. One way of doing this is to begin to say ‘no’ to the demands of others. Sometimes one needs to be careful doing this, particularly if it is your boss at work, but there are often ways of saying ‘no’ to additional commitments. If we like to please people learning to say ‘no’ can be quite difficult, but it can be very important for our well-being.

Dealing with stress can also mean addressing difficult relationships. Other people can treat us in ways that  can result in major stress for us. Talking these issues through with the person concerned can be important.  We might need occasionally need help from others to deal with this stress.


People can become stressed if they have a tendency towards perfectionism. If we don’t achieve one hundred per cent we feel under stress-alternatively, if we can learn to accept good but not perfect standards, this can help us to feel less stressed, but this is not easy.

Finally, we may need to accept certain stresses like the stress of learning to drive a car. Here the reward of passing the test is worth the stress of the learning process- similarly the stress of learning so we can pass an exam. We actually become stronger in our lives by accepting and dealing with stress.

In my book, Mindful of the Light-practical help and spiritual hope for mental health  I discuss further ways of dealing with stress.