13/01/2016 10:07 am
The third Monday in January is often dubbed ‘Blue Monday’ - the most depressing day of the year - due in part to debt levels, bad weather, divorce rates and the number of days since the Christmas holidays.
For those suffering from longer-term depression and mental illness, January may be just a bit harder to bear.
In the run up to Blue Monday, the Mental Health Project of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has been raising awareness of St Dymphna - the patron saint of those with mental or nervous disorders or mental illness and of the St Dymphna Befriending Group, a support group for those facing mental health challenges.
Joanne Bird, a mental health practitioner and the co-ordinator of the befriending group says: “Mental distress can strike at any time in anyone’s lives, and that’s when it’s so helpful to have someone kind nearby who will listen to you and support you”.
Gail Sainsbury who works on the Mental Health Project at the Bishops Conference said, “I will be praying on ‘Blue Monday’ for all those who are in particular need at this time.”
Prayer to Saint Dymphna for help
Good Saint Dymphna, great wonder-worker in every affliction of mind and body, I humbly implore your powerful intercession with Jesus through Mary, the Health of the Sick, in my present need. (Mention it.)
Saint Dymphna, martyr of purity, patroness of those who suffer with nervous and mental afflictions, beloved child of Jesus and Mary, pray to Them for me and obtain my request.
(Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.)
Saint Dymphna, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.
Prayer to Our Lady of Mental Peace
Mother of tranquility, Mother of hope,
Our Lady of Mental Peace,
we reach out to you for what is needful in our weakness.
Teach a searching heart that God’s Love is unchanging,
that human love begins and grows by touching God’s Love.
Let your gentle peace be always with us and
help us to bring this same peace into the lives of others.
Our Lady of Mental Peace - Pray for us.
Mental Health section on the Bishops' Conference website.