Holy Smoke: does the Church know how to deal with mental illness?

Nov 15, 06:26 PM
We're all sick of celebrities making a meal of their mental health problems – but that doesn't mean that we aren't facing a potential crisis. The unique strains of living in the technology-driven 21st century are taking their toll on people who, in an earlier era, would have been psychologically robust. Many of us are affected by anxiety, depression, addiction and eating disorders; all sorts of compulsive behaviour are flourishing as never before.

And the mainstream churches have got nothing useful to say about it. Many bishops seem content to blame it on Brexit.

Damian Thompson talks to Professor Stephen Bullivant, Britain's foremost expert on patterns of religious belief. Both talk frankly – 'bravely', as they say of celebrities – about their struggles with mental illness.

Holy Smoke is a series of podcasts where Damian Thompson dissects the most important and controversial topics in world religion, with a range of high profile guests. Click here to find previous episodes.