Mental Health And Work Opportunities

Mental illness is not a catastrophic injury. It is more akin to a disease such as diabetes insomuch as it can be controlled, often to the extent that the sufferer can return to work as long as accommodations are made (which is what the law requires from secular employers). However, because of ignorance and bigotry many (I would guess, most) employers and potential employers view those who have suffered from mental illness as useless - in fact, worse than useless, as liabilities. The physically disabled person will hopefully land the best job he or she is capable of doing. The mentally disabled person does not get that opportunity often. The Church has been told by a very good psychiatrist (who they paid for) that I would be a better than average parish priest even though I live with mental health problems. Therefore, my frustration is in not being allowed to do what I am capable of doing, not because of my problems but because of somebody else's problems of prejudice and ignorance.


Mental Health And Work Opportunities — 6 Comments

  1. You will be able to prove your ability by having Permission to Officiate at occasional services and helping out in local parishes. If you are not prepared to show a willingness to do this, your bishop might justifiably conclude you are not well enough.

    • Unfortunately nobody will allow me such opportunities. That’s the problem with stigma. It’s not as if I haven’t tried but even the area dean of the parish where I worshipped won’t see me so I can’t make the contacts I would need to in order to follow your suggestion, Helena. Anyway, why should I have to prove myself when others don’t have to? That is what discrimination is and it is not fair.

    • I have tried all this, over and over again, Helena. I have been doing so for fifteen years or so, the last five of which I have been unemployed. I get so far and then a door is slammed in my face. The problem is that I need restitution and the Church will not offer me that because in doing so they would admit that one of their bishops acted immorally. I do realise that I will not get what I want and that for all intents and purposes I am not part of the Church. I am too tired after all these years to fight for myself anymore, the hurt of rejection is too draining. But I can use my story to perhaps help stop the discrimination in the future.

  2. It is not a question of having to prove yourself. Is there not another area dean you could contact? Does the vicar where you worship show no encouragement? If not, I’d worship elsewhere.

    • Forgive me, but twenty years of getting to know first hand just how nasty and conniving the church hierarchy can be has made me very suspicious of its actions. It seems to me that taking over seven months to grant PTO and then making it impossible for me to use it in any constructive way is a good way to be seen to be doing something positive whilst making sure their negative intentions prevail. But, I am extremely cynical about the church because of what has been done to me and others like me. That is why I am asking for an apology and restitution because that is the minimum I know I need if there is to be a healing of my disaffection.