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England: Bishops, a Saint too in support of “Blue Monday”


“Saint Dymphna, pray for us”. The English Bishops too are stepping in to support, with their prayers, the patron saint of depressed people, people suffering from neurosis and mental disorders, especially on the “Blue Monday”, the most depressing day of the year. According to a British tradition, the “Blue Monday” is the third Monday of January. “For people suffering from long-term depression and mental disorders – the English Bishops Conference write in a release issued today –, January can be a bit tougher to stand”. In addition, the Bishops point out that many causes may be hidden behind depression: debts, divorce, as well as long bouts of bad weather and the end of the recent Christmas holidays. The English Bishops Conference has set up a support group named after Saint Dymphna to help people who are going through a bout of depression, psychic disorders, even post traumatic stress disorder, and not leave them alone. The group’s coordinator, Jeanne Bird, explains: “Mental disorders can affect anyone at any time of their life, and it is important to find someone who helps you and listens to you”. A video too was filmed with the group’s staff telling about this ‘door-to-door’ support and help service.

Dymphna was a young Irish girl who was martyred by her father. The Saint was made patron of people suffering from mental disorders as well as mental healthcare facilities and professions (such as psychiatrists). The prayer recommended by the English Bishops Conference says: “Mother of tranquillity, Mother of hope, Our Lady of Mental Peace, we reach out to you for what is needful in our weakness”.

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