kate middleton

Kate Middleton

WATCH THE VIDEO INTERVIEW

Update on The Sanctuary Podcast:

During these extraordinary times, while we can’t be with each other physically, we can reach out through screens and over phones, and we can share our stories with each other. Join Sanctuary’s CEO, Daniel Whitehead, as he interviews pastors, front line workers, ministry leaders, and friends about their experience of the pandemic and where they are making meaning and finding hope in the ups and downs of this season.

Episode Description:

Psychologist, Pastor and Director of UK-based faith and mental health organization The Mind and Soul Foundation, Kate Middleton, discusses core practices for maintaining mental wellness through the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic. She talks about incorporating rhythms of rest, managing awkward and difficult emotions, and finding joy and connection during times of stress and distress. 

Running time: 32:05

Release date: July 3, 2020

Resources mentioned in the show:

Zeo church

The Mind and Soul Foundation

@mindandsouluk on Instagram

Dissonance

Clinical psychology

The Sanctuary Course

Faith, Grief, and COVID-19

Crisis Resources:

For your quick reference, here are nationwide emergency numbers and crisis lines:

  • Canada: 911, Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566
  • British Columbia: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
  • United States: 911, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • United Kingdom: 999/112, Samaritans: 116 123
  • New Zealand: 111, 1737, Lifeline Aotearoa: 0800-543-354
  • Australia: 000, Lifeline: 13 11 14 

TRANSCRIPT

Daniel Whitehead: So welcome to the Sanctuary podcast, my name is Daniel Whitehead. I am the CEO of Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries, and during COVID-19 I’m also the host of our podcast. Today I am joined by a friend, and let me tell you a bit about her, and I’m going to just avert, move my eyes to my bit of paper: Kate is a pastor at Zeo Church in the town of Hitchin, which is in Hertfordshire just north of London, for those who care to know. Kate did her PhD in psychology, she’s an author and speaker, and one of the three Directors of the Mind and Soul Foundation, whose aim is to educate, equip and encourage the local church in the whole area of mental health and emotional health in the UK. Kate, thanks for joining us.

Kate Middleton: Awesome. No, it’s great to be here.

Daniel Whitehead: It’s great to have you with us, and I hope I got your info right. Is there anything I got wrong?

Kate Middleton: No, that’s pretty spot on. You didn’t even make a Kate Middleton joke. 

Daniel Whitehead: Well there’s still time for that. We will get to that, I’m sure.

Kate Middleton: You can drop it in later when we least expect it.

Daniel Whitehead: Yeah, that must always happen, you get introduced and that’s, that’s the joke right.

Kate Middleton: Yeah, it comes up. I think it’s actually starting to tail off. Yeah but now I’m like, I’m bereft without it because I’ve got so used to it, over like ten years of being introduced that way. 

Daniel Whitehead: Part of your identity now.

Kate Middleton: Yeah, I know.

Daniel Whitehead: Yeah, well I’m sure it’s probably helped with hits on the Mind and Soul website, probably.

Kate Middleton: Who knows? I think people are confused, especially because actually the other Kate Middleton—as obviously I like to refer to her—is now quite passionate about mental health, and the Royals here do a lot of stuff around mental health, so I remember my son coming in one day and saying, “Oh mummy, that other Kate Middleton—she’s talking about the same stuff you do.”

Daniel Whitehead: The impostor.

Kate Middleton: So it can get quite confusing, and there have been some near misses, where she’s been involved in projects I’ve been involved with, or she opened a building for an organisation that I work quite closely with across in Luton which is near here, but we were on holiday so I couldn’t come, and so people are starting to question: can we be in the same place at the same time? Or is it a sort of “back to the future” time-space paradox thing, that, you know, if the two Kate Middletons meet, the whole world implodes or something? I mean, anyway.

Daniel Whitehead: I’m going to go with it, I think that sounds great, just stick that on your resume that’s… so Kate, so look, one of the things we’re doing during this time, is we’re just asking people who work in this intersection of faith and mental health, just like how are you doing, and how are you doing in the midst of a pandemic, what does it look like for you, and your work and your vocation?

Kate Middleton: Yeah it’s interesting, so obviously I have two main work and vocation spaces as you talked about, and the impact on the two has been really different. So in our church space, obviously what this has meant, like [for] all churches, is a huge change to how we do church, what that means, what that looks like. Part of my role there is to oversee all of our pastoral care and wellbeing stuff, so we’re thinking about how do you care for a church full of people who, well I say for but there is no building now, they’re out, they’re in the community, they’re scattered. And so thinking about how we do that in isolation—in lockdown—and how we can really care for them well, but also what are the needs of our local community in that? And caring for people with all the differences that that brings, so some people for whom this has been quite a blessed time, maybe they’ve had time out from work, time in their gardens, more time than usual, but also other people for whom this has been really difficult, maybe because of challenges or difficulties, illness; whether it’s background vulnerability or that they or their loved ones have experienced COVID… or those who are working flat out. So I’m involved with doing a lot of work with some frontline workers in our area, and just supporting them. But also we hear from a lot of people within our church community who are juggling work and home-schooling children. I’m also in that category, and believe me, man, it’s a juggle. So that’s a challenge, so that’s the work, that’s the church space. And then of course for me in the other space, for my professional role as a psychologist, but also working alongside the Mind and Soul Foundation, and in the wider church community across the whole of the UK: it has been obviously really busy, as I’ve been involved, we’ve been involved in just supporting the church more widely. What does it mean to do this? Can you get through this season not just surviving it but actually thriving? How do you do this and look after your own wellbeing, but also the wellbeing of those near you? And all the different phases that this crisis has meant for us here in the UK, you know, and we’re sort of, probably in what I would call the sort of third main phase of that now, as we’ve started to move into release and thinking about what does this new normal look like.

Daniel Whitehead: That’s, yeah, that is—when you condense it so eloquently into that short space of those various hats you wear, that just feels so overwhelming. I’m wondering, I mean, yeah, you’ve alluded to the fact that it feels overwhelming, but what are your core practices? What are the core things that you do to ensure that you’re able to maintain some kind of wellness in the midst of wearing all these many hats?

Kate Middleton: Yeah, well, it’s interesting [that] that’s something a lot of people have been asking, and that I’ve been talking about. And in some ways the intriguing thing about this season for me as a psychologist is exactly that, that I am sharing with people the same things that I am putting into place myself, and I’m putting in place for my family, because we’re in this too. This is a challenge that we’re all facing together, and I guess particularly in this season, because I think at first you could treat it like a sort of acute crisis, like head down one day at a time, push the limit, just get through, and you can, you can sort of meet it like that, and particularly at first when we all went into lockdown here, I think for most people, me included it came as quite a big shock, the practical sort of what that meant to your life, and so you were in that zone of lots of adjustment, quite busy, really motivated, lots of novelty, lots of things to be getting on with. And a lot of people actually I think, and almost exciting, you know, the juggle of some of those things. But then as you move into longer-term lockdown, you’re managing the challenges of, of losing all your productivity, you’ve lost all your routine, all the structure to your world. And what that does is it pushes your stress level up, and everybody’s stress level[s] will have moved up, even if you didn’t find it distressing. I talk a lot about the fact that stress and distress are two different things, and in this season for some people it has been distressing, and that’s an added challenge, but everybody’s stress levels rose, because your brain uses routine and rhythm and predictability as a way to keep stress low. So if everything changes, if all the normal markers in your life are gone, your mind has to do a lot more work.

So number one—I’m generally talking about three things at the moment that are important—and number one is about managing stress, recognising peaks in your stress, and being really proactive and intentional about how you manage that, and a lot of it is about trying to build back routine where you can. So in lockdown we were encouraging people to maintain bits of routine, particularly to think about the stepping stones in your normal day or in your normal week; try and get into new patterns so that that would drop that overall stress level. But also the things in your rhythm and routine that are absolutely vital for keeping your baseline stress low, it’s like pulling the plug out of a pool and letting it drop back down. So things like your rhythms of rest, your rhythms of time-out, the boundaries around when are you working, when are you resting, in a season when all of those things have been squashed into the same space, the same four walls, you know, it’s really increasingly challenging. And also when the demand is much higher—so in this season now as we go back into this sort of new normal and starting to release lockdown, I’m hearing from a lot of people who are just exhausted. We’ve been doing this here for, like, I think this is our eleventh week depending on exactly when you start counting, and actually what we’re hitting now, although it feels like it should be easier, because we’re returning to something that’s a little bit like normal, actually it’s not because it’s not normal. So there’s a lot of what we call dissonance around—psychologists will call dissonance—so you’re doing something that should be normal, but actually you see something that’s out of place and it’s triggering negative emotions because it doesn’t fit, it’s not right. So it’s normal to go shopping, it’s not normal to have to queue for forty-five minutes to get in. It’s normal to send your kids to school—some of our primary school kids have gone back this week, and I’ve heard from several parents in the last two days saying they’ve looked into the playground or they’ve looked into the classroom and they’re just seeing things, and literally they felt this spike of anxiety, of discomfort because it’s not right—so we’ve got these things that are triggering peaks in stress, and we’ve got to be proactive there for more than usual about how do we rest, how do we relax, how do we manage to take time out so that we can refuel, re-energize ourselves? And that is so important, because when you’re, when your stress level baseline rises, it’s on the same psychological system as emotions like frustration and anxiety. So if your baseline is already at sort of crisis level, where you feel like you might go under, what are the normal ways or challenges of everyday life suddenly feels enormous, it feels too much, it’s like, “Are you kidding me?” Like in my household, why would you stack the dishwasher wrong now, like, “Are you kidding me? Why would you put that plate in at that angle when I know it’s not going to get clean?” It’s like because I am already up to here; that is going to push me over an edge. Normally it would just be like mildly irritating, because you know I like my dishwasher stacked right, but so everyone is so much more prickly at the moment, and the more we can think about building rest and stuff into our routine, the better we will handle all the other challenges of everyday life. So that’s like my number one.

Number two, then, is about how do you manage those awkward emotions, the difficult emotions? You know, we can get so obsessed when we think about wellbeing, about thinking about, you know, we’ve got to think positive, we’ve got to, you know, we mustn’t admit the existence of any negativity. But in a season like this, it’s hard, there are difficult feelings around and we have to admit them; we have to allow them headspace; we have to be compassionate towards ourselves, to say, “This is actually really hard,” and we have to find a way to process things like anxiety, frustration, loss, the loss of our routines in our everyday life, the loss of freedom for people who are not able to go out because of vulnerability, the loss of bereavement for families who’ve been affected, I’m hearing a lot about that too. So we have to find out how to do that.

And then the third thing is, then, finding the pursuit of good things. How do we build the good stuff into life? Because it’s hard, we’ve been locked down, a lot of the things we would have done normally to have fun, and it’s interesting isn’t it, Dan, you have—this season has attacked some of our core basic needs as human beings: things like connection with other human beings; the people we love; physical touch. People are so much more aware now than they used to be about how important that is, and it’s something that people like you and I, well—I certainly talk about it all the time, I’m sure that you do. Things like our need to get into the outdoors, to experience nature, you know. First of all people were limited in that, now they’re encouraged to do it, get outside. The only way we’re allowed to meet people not from our household is to do it outside. Thank goodness the weather’s been good, the forecast is about to turn, and my son, my son literally said to me, he’s like: “Mummy we need to buy a really big umbrella.” He’s right because the only way to meet people now is to go outside, and people are realising therefore what a difference it makes when you can connect with nature and get out, and see the sky. So thinking about creativity and how you find joy, how you find good things, how you find connection. And doing all of this stuff in a season where it is so busy for some people, you know. And whichever end of that spectrum you’re on, it’s tough and it’s stressful. If you’re bored and isolated and lonely, we know that is a massive stress trigger and a big challenge. But at the same time if you are absolutely flat out, if you’re trying to work full time and also manage your kids, or workers who are having to do extra shifts, or managing extra pressure—it’s exhausting. And so it is a real challenge, all of this stuff is hard. 

Daniel Whitehead: It’s so, it’s so timely for me hearing you talk there, Kate, because funnily enough I had a really bad day yesterday. And I was out every day—my wife, we have two children—and I would go out for a walk, and as we were getting really close to our home, a young person—two young people—walked past me. And one of them did something that wasn’t—it was quite offensive. And I said “Oi,” and he ignored me, so I went “Oi,” and he ignored me again. And I said, “I’m trying to talk to you”. And he said, “Oh” and he mocked my accent, because I live in North America. So suddenly my blood level’s boiling, so I said, “No, no, we’re going to talk.” So I walk after him, and his friend said, “Oh sorry sir, he’s very disrespectful,” and then he was rude to me again. And it was like the tunnel vision came in, and I was so angry in that moment. And I found myself pointing at him, saying, you know,  “You need to learn respect, you need to…” and suddenly there was this moment I’m going, “What are you doing?” Like this is not you, and it’s in the context of, stress, you know: global pandemic, what’s going on in the news at the moment in, in the US.

Kate Middleton: Yeah.

Daniel Whitehead: The fact that we’re really close to that border, we have lots of people that we know that are involved in that, our own stuff and all of this. And the main point I was trying to make to this young man, which I didn’t make very well, was in this time you don’t talk to people or treat people like that. We all need, we need to help each other. Don’t be so disrespectful. But clearly he wasn’t ready to hear that. 

Kate Middleton: It’s a good description, isn’t it, because when we’re at that overwhelm point, literally you’re thinking—brain starts to switch off because your mind goes into the kind of emergency mode, and that means you don’t act at your best, you’re not your most rational. And I know—I’ve been doing a lot of these sorts of podcasts, talking about how do you support teenagers, and I’ve had to confess many times that some of the most teenage behaviour in our house in the last ten weeks has been from me! Because I’ve been so overwhelmed, and then something happened, and I just, like you, I’ve had those moments you, just think: “I am about to lose it, I just, I cannot deal with this right now. It’s too much,” And so I know our printer got quite a yelling at the other day because it decided not to print, and I was just like, “No, I’m sorry, you can’t do this to me today.” And it’s hard. And a lot of people are talking to me about that, just for us as adults, the shock to find yourself reacting in ways that doesn’t feel normal for you, that feels unpredictable, it feels even out of control, that is frankly a bit, it’s a bit embarrassing, you know. I had to go and apologise to my kids a couple of times and be like, “Mummy was not good in that moment,” because, you know, we are pushed to the limit. And particularly if it’s that type of, just the stress of juggling and change and managing: it’s not that you’re particularly distressed, so sometimes you’re not aware of it until those moments where you just suddenly react. 

Daniel Whitehead: Yeah absolutely. And then there’s the shame that comes with that, the feeling of like, oh, it’s like you know, you kind of think in this day and age, I had this moment as I was walking away, I’m like: “Was his friend filming that?” Like that is not going to look good if that goes out into the public sector, to see this angry man pointing at a, you know I don’t know how old he was, he might have been eighteen but, just telling him off in public, which is not a very Canadian thing to do, so.

Kate Middleton: Yeah well, don’t worry. I’m a big cyclist and I—one of the ways that I’ve seen this is that although we’ve had a lot less traffic on the roads, the people in the cars are a lot more grumpy than usual. And I’ve been shouted at a lot biking in the last ten weeks, but one particular—quite an extreme—incident, somebody drove past, came quite close and they wound down the window and they really yelled at me. And I also [was] having quite a bad day [and] frankly yelled back. And they drove off and I thought, “Oh fine,” and then I noticed they’d pulled in, in front, and I thought, “Oh right, we’re really going to do this are we?” And so as I cycled past they yelled again, and there was a bit, anyway… it wasn’t a great moment in a church leader’s life. Anyway so then I cycle off and I see that they’ve turned left, and then I suddenly think, “Oh wait a minute, I know someone who lives on that road.” And I thought, “Was that, was that actually someone—do I know them?” Because I didn’t see them in the car, and then I was like, “Oh no is it this lady who I know?”. And I actually—about ten minutes further on in my ride, I actually stopped and I had to phone her, I was like, “I just need to know: Was that you? Because I might need to really badly apologise.” She thought it was hilarious, she’s like, “No, but you have clearly just yelled at one of my neighbours.”

Daniel Whitehead: It’s so, it’s so interesting isn’t it. Because I think in that, I haven’t talked to anyone about this incident, and it’s kind of good to talk to you about it, but I, you know, yeah I think, I come away from that when you’re able, the tunnel vision isn’t there, and you’re able to think and go: “Ah, what I wanted to communicate to that young man was to be kind, more kind,” and just to say, “Look, I’m, you know, I’m not a special case, I’m like everyone else. But there’s a lot going on at the moment, and some of that’s related to having family overseas who we can’t see, and some of that’s related to having our two children and their own needs. Just be kind.” And I wish I could have said that. That’s the message he probably needed to hear. And all he saw was an angry person getting angry with him, telling him to stop being so cheeky, and that he doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does, so Lord. Anyway, maybe he’s listening to this, if he’s listening: I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

Kate Middleton: I am certainly very grateful that God doesn’t only use perfect people in this time. Because I felt very far from it, and very aware sometimes of the limitations and the weaknesses and my own personal flaws in that. So we’re all in the same boat, so that’s good.

Daniel Whitehead: Yeah, absolutely. So Kate, I’m really interested—I mean, there’s loads of things I’m interested in what you’ve said—but I’m really interested in your dual vocation of psychologist and pastor. Was that an intentional thing? Like was that… 

Kate Middleton: No, not at all. I actually started as a medic, so my first degree is medicine as well. But when I was quite early in my medical degree, I really felt that God was talking to me [and] saying, “This isn’t what you’re going to do for the rest of your life.” And I was a bit like, “Okay well that’s interesting because I’m on a medical degree, so isn’t that a problem?” And pretty much every year, at the start of every year I would have this kind of dialogue with God, where I’d be like, “Seriously, should I quit? How does this work?” Because I just feel like, I know I’m not going to practice as a doctor. And eventually I got to a point and I was actually part—I was partway through my clinicals—and nearly at the end of my medical degree, and I just felt God say, “No, no, this is the moment to leave.”

And it was then that I realised I’d always had this passion of, about psychology, about the mind, how it works, how people think, and about how do you release the maximum potential for people? And the things that limit people, seeing people who should—it felt like they should be able to access so much more in life—but things held them back and they never got over things, or they had little challenges or issues for them that always limited what they could do—that was always my excitement, and I really felt God saying like go off and study it. So that’s when I went off to do psychology. And came out of there, eventually did a PhD in clinical psychology. And then came out, it’s a research degree in a clinical area, that’s how we do it here, but then I came out of that and I was like, “Well, now what?” And I actually started working for a Christian charity then, working with eating disorders funnily enough originally, in quite a narrow field. And it was then through that that I started to do more and more work with the church, and I got involved with the local church, which I’m actually now still on the leadership of, so we’re talking like twenty years ago now—it’s quite frightening, well, maybe not quite twenty, like eighteen years ago. And I started to feel God speak to me. And I think my own history with the church had been difficult. I didn’t grow up in the church; my family background is that they’re not Christians at all, and I only got into church because the only other kid in my village as a kid growing up in the country in the UK was the vicar’s daughter. So I used to go and sit outside church and wait for her to come out so we could play, and eventually her dad the vicar said, “Come on in,” and it changed my whole life. But I’ve always found church slightly tricky, and it felt like I didn’t totally fit in with the church culture, which is a little bit weird. And I still think that now, and I’ve now worked in it for like fifteen years, so that’s interesting. But so, for me, when God started to talk to me about the church, and actually what an amazing space it is—it was radical. I started to see that it was, like, the church is unique in being a space where people from all different backgrounds get drawn together. And seeing the teaching of the Bible and what it talks about, about the potential of people when they do do life together well, when they understand, I mean—you talked about some of the stuff going on in the USA at the moment, but you understand that some of the Bible teaching saying all of those old differences don’t mean anything in Jesus’ eyes because we’re all one, we’re the same people. And things like that that transform your understanding of what people can be, what community can be, what family can be in its wider sense… and I did start to get really excited about that, and I got drawn in initially through working in pastoral care doing, supporting some of the projects and things that we were doing in our local community, that needed that clinical expertise, but more and more just got passionate about God and the Bible and what it means to be a person of faith who also has an understanding of the mind. And the rest is history I guess.

Daniel Whitehead: Wow, and that’s really interesting, because I’d imagine—you can tell me if I’m wrong but—and this is a segue into Mind and Soul: that intersection of psychology and faith, I mean, Sanctuary as an organisation we are, like, getting close to ten years old. How old is Mind and Soul?

Kate Middleton: So we would be about, so we’re over fifteen I think, we’re about eighteen years old, yeah.

Daniel Whitehead: Yeah okay, so I’m imagining that was like a really new dynamic eighteen years ago, like that, I mean, was there anyone else that you knew of that were making headway and bringing the faith and psychology piece together?

Kate Middleton: No, it’s very unusual. And I think all three of us, and the guys, Rob and Will, they sort of kicked off Mind and Soul, and then I joined them soon after. And we all shared this vision of a space where we could talk good—good psychology, good psychiatry and good theology and find a space where they met. We had this passion for what the Bible and what God could teach us about our own minds, the mind that God did create. And the potential for people, but also the need within the church to be talking about this much more, and when we started, you’re right, the church really didn’t talk about mental health, and if they did it was all about: Where’s the line? How and when do I hand this over to the nice professional over there? And it’s interesting because our work in our first decade was all about getting people talking, and understanding that this was an issue that the church not only could engage with but should, that we had not just an opportunity but a responsibility to engage with this. And now, moving on we’re in what feels like a very different season where people’s interest levels have grown; there’s a lot more conversations happening, but what we’re about is trying to shape and equip and resource those conversations. And people in the church doing amazing work at a time when in the UK mental health services are under phenomenal pressure, and really limited in what they can manage. So there’s quite a big and growing space now where, particularly people in churches who are on the frontline in their communities, are getting involved, getting stuck in with mental health, mental illness and the wider issues around mental and emotional wellbeing, and what it means just to do life well.

Daniel Whitehead: Wow, and that’s really interesting, you talk about the first ten years: How would you frame the work of Mind and Soul now in terms of, I mean obviously there’s the, the educate, equip and encourage, but how does Mind and Soul—I’m just thinking of people watching or listening who don’t know about the work of Mind and Soul—what does that really look like at the moment for Mind and Soul? How do you do that as an organisation?

Kate Middleton: So we are, I mean, Mind and Soul is the three of us, so myself, my colleague Rob who’s a psychiatrist, and Will who’s a vicar working in HTB [Holy Trinity Brompton] in London. And so it is us speaking, teaching and equipping and resourcing. So most of that we do either normally through conferences and being physically present. Oh, weren’t they the days.

Daniel Whitehead: I remember that.

Kate Middleton: At the moment, an awful lot of this sort of thing. So my travel costs have plummeted, which is the good news, but we also do it through connecting people with amazing other organisations and individuals who are just doing great work. Because we were aware, one of the strengths of the church is the passion that people hold when God—particularly if God has changed your life—you want to take that out. And so a lot of people are starting brilliant things. What we’re not always so good at doing is working together and connecting with other people, and we have this real passion to connect and bring together good stuff in this field, and to connect it with the people who needed it the most, who were looking. So we have a website, we have this central hub where people can come to, and we try and connect them with good stuff that’s going on basically. And it’s an amazing privilege to work with some brilliant people. So we, we, for example, we toyed for a while with the idea of writing a course ourselves, for churches. And then we thought one day, “Do you know what? There are so many brilliant courses out there for churches; why would we write yet another? Why don’t we use our time to tell people about the stuff that’s already out there?” So we spend a lot of our time “bigging” up other people which is an awesome privilege.  

Daniel Whitehead: Wow, it’s very good, and for what it’s worth, Kate, it’s a good opportune moment for me to, to do this in this public forum, you know as an organisation that is, that is growing, I mean, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we’ve had I mean the—since the start of COVID, we see what people are googling and what they’re searching [online]. And obviously the number of people googling “faith and anxiety”, “faith and depression” has just rocketed and we’ve had downloads of our resources in over thirty-three countries in the last three months.

Kate Middleton: That’s great.    

Daniel Whitehead: It’s a really interesting, interesting time for us. And I think there are many organisations that work—well, actually no, there aren’t many—there are a few organisations that work in this intersection, and a number of small ones, and great people with great hearts doing great work. Some of the challenges that we can sometimes see in certain people—maybe it’s a one-man band somewhere who’s got a heart for this—is that they often lack the integration of the clinical piece and the theological piece. They’ll have a leaning, a strong leaning one way or the other. And the challenge is, you know, to use mental health and faith jargon, they can easily fall into a more medical model, you know, instead of this interdisciplinary, you know: How do we listen to the Bible in its own right? How do we listen to the science? And how do we put the person at the centre? And when me and my team talk about organisations around the world that are doing this well, one of the ones at the top of our list is Mind and Soul. I think you’ve navigated that so well in bringing the clinical, the theological, the lived experience together, and that’s no easy task. So I just want to, you know, thank you for your work and what you’re doing, and being that signpost. Because I love that. I met Will about a year and a half ago, and Will said, “You know, we’re not, we are trying to point people to what’s out there, we’re like this central signposting organisation.” And [that’s] just so needed and so grateful for you, Rob, and Will pioneering in that area before many of us even began, so thank you for doing that.

Kate Middleton: Well, we love to do it. And I think that’s the amazing thing, isn’t it, that God calls us to the things that we’re passionate about. So it’s just an amazing privilege and a joy, you know. We’re just picking up a new project here, and I’ve just been overwhelmed a bit today with the grace of God, that we get to do this stuff—it’s amazing. And we meet the most brilliant people as well, both those who are pioneering stuff, those who are suffering and struggling themselves, but also those just like you say—quietly getting on with it in their own communities. And this season has really demonstrated some of that, and some of the goodness that there is, in our communities, in people. It’s been awesome, really inspiring.

Daniel Whitehead: That’s great. Thank you so much for your time Kate, thank you for sharing with us. It’s been really good for me personally, it’s been really good, and I think it’s going to encourage a lot of people, so thank you so much.

Kate Middleton: Great, well I would really encourage people if you want more, if you’re interested in more resources, we have all sorts of articles, links, videos… I’ve done a little weekly thought and stuff, and you can find it all from our website, so you can check out mindandsoulfoundation.org, or follow us on social media, we’re @mindandsouluk.

Daniel Whitehead: Very good, very good check it out, thanks for joining us everyone, we’ll see you next time. Okay, thanks Kate. 

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries exists to equip the church to be a sanctuary for all people, at all stages of their mental wellness journey, may this podcast encourage you to create safe space for your own story, and the stories of others as well as create change in communities that stigmatize those suffering with mental health challenges. 

The Sanctuary Course is a small group resource designed to help initiate and guide conversations about mental health and faith, it is a starting point, creating a base of shared knowledge from which churches can explore the next steps, perhaps most importantly through the simple act of talking openly about mental health, the course helps churches begin to create safe spaces for people to share their mental health stories, and receive support in community. 

Each theme in the course is explored from a psychological, social and theological perspective, and each session is accompanied by a compelling film focussed on an individual story, a person of faith whose journeyed through mental health challenges. 

This podcast is released under creative commons attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives 4.0 license. Don’t change it or sell it but please share it all you like.