I have heard that St Luke's is no longer helping clergy with physical ailments - is this true?
Yes, this is true. In the past, St Luke’s offered consultations to address the physical healthcare needs of clergy and their families. Now we are focusing our efforts to meet the area of greatest need – wellbeing and psychological support.
Is this a sudden decision? How did it come about?
Over the last few years we have shifted our focus towards clergy wellbeing and psychological care, in response to growing need. We have built our expertise and reputation in this field and have developed a wide range of ways to address evolving issues affecting clergy. From now on, we will focus solely on clergy wellbeing and mental health.
So what exactly can St Luke’s help clergy and their families with?
We continue to welcome requests for referral for psychological issues, which form a key part of our new focus on mental health and wellbeing. Depending on the specific case, we may be able to offer an initial assessment and ten sessions of psychological therapy via Cognacity. Alternatively we may offer assessment or treatment locally to the patient. Every case is different and we will continue to strive to meet each individual’s needs.
I have already requested a referral for a physical ailment - will I still be able to see the consultant?
Yes, all existing referrals for physical conditions that are already underway will be honoured. The cut-off for new physical healthcare referrals is 31 May 2022. After this date, St Luke’s will be unable to take any new referrals for physical issues.
How will St Luke’s ensure that its psychological services are sustained?
We are continuing to build our fundraising activities and increase the number of parishes, individuals and trusts that support the charity. We want to expand our work in the psychological arena. This includes our ‘preventive’ activities of training, workshops, group sessions and pilot projects to identify and promote ways of helping clergy to flourish in their ministry.
Will the staff and the office remain the same?
Yes, the staff and the office will be the same. We still have a Medical Secretary who helps with queries related to health issues and refers requests for help with psychological issues to appropriate providers. We will continue to work confidentially and compassionately with individuals and provide access to expert mental health services for clergy, their spouses, and children up to the age of 18.
How do I get in contact?
Clergy and their families are welcome to contact St Luke’s through our website, by phone, email or by post.
Why is St Luke's work needed?
Jan Korris, St Luke’s Wellbeing Adviser, writes: ‘Mental ill health is no respecter of persons. Chemical imbalance, hereditary legacy, physical disease, upbringing, life events and environmental and work pressures all can take their toll and as a result there is a greater recognition of the need to better understand and support states of mental wellbeing in society. Both at the level of individual responsibility and of cultural norms thought is being given to how we may ameliorate some of the factors that undermine mental health and therefore promote human flourishing … Clergy are not immune to external pressures and when these inhibit what is not just a role, but a way of being, the effects can be disabling.’