Resources to support Ministers experiencing ill health and those living with impairments

Here are details of the two Good Practice Guides and other documents which have been designed to provide support to Ministers, and guidance for their Superintendents and District Chairs/the MDO Warden.

Supporting Ministers who experience ill health - a good practice guide - Part 1  (Pdf)
This was agreed by Conference in 2011.  It contains guidance about reporting absence and accessing support when you are, principles for supporting someone on long term sick leave, advice on how to construct a phased return to work (with worked examples), a case study about supporting a minister experiencing mental health issues, guidance about confidentiality and record keeping, and details of sources of further advice.

Supporting Ministers who experience ill health - a good practice guide - Part 2    (Pdf)
This was agreed by Conference in 2013.  It contains information about healthy working environments and ways of working, practical suggestions on work/life balance issues, stress and wellbeing, and suggestions about approaches to take when relationships become strained or break down with the Circuit.  Finally, it looks at how to approach situations which arise when, for example a minister refuses to acknowledge they are ill or hides the fact, and how to support those on long term sick leave.

Support for those living with disabilities  (Pdf)
This guide looks at what we mean by disability and impairment, both from a legal perspective and more broadly.  It gives advice on how to obtain professional assessments, for example for those living with dyslexia, and what practical support may be available.  It takes a case study approach, looking at conditions such as arthritis, depression and Parkinson's, and what adjustments may be made to the ministerial role to support individuals.  There is also some guidance on aspects of the Equality Act.

Supporting those experiencing stress  (Pdf)
This looks at stresses in the ministerial role in terms of the following:

The emphasis is on locating the sources of stress in an individual minister and identifying practical support measures.  Stress can be a concept which it is difficult to define, and this guide helps to do this, and provides ways to deal with it.
Proforma - Stress Risk Assessment to complete electronically (Word doc)

General risk assessment guidance  (Pdf)
This takes a case study based approach and looks at how to support a Minister returning to work following cancer treatment.  It identifies presenting symptoms of tiredness, a compromised immune system, dizziness due to the drug regime, after effects of surgery, low mood, and loss of confidence as minister and in the person's relationship with God.  Suggested strategies for support and adaptations to the ministerial role are offered.
Proforma - General Risk Assessment to complete electronically (Word doc)

Checklist for Superintendents supporting Ministers with ill health (Pdf)
This provides a step-by-step approach to supporting a minister who is absent because of illness, ensuring that all the practical, as well as pastoral, issues are addressed.

Promoting healthy ministry: a study guide (Pdf)
This is a short guide to help you think about how you might optimise your health and wellbeing, both within the context of your ministry and life in general.

Sources of further advice

Please contact the Wellbeing Adviser on wellbeing@methodistchurch.org.uk or 020 7467 5192.