About us

England and Wales Registered Charity: 1081642
UK Registered Company: 3957730
Patrons: Professor Andrew Sims, The Reverend Canon Roger Royle

Our name

Being Alongside’ (aka B.A.) is the operational name for the ‘Association for Pastoral Care in Mental Health’, (APCMH), a Christian based, voluntary association of individual members and affiliated groups who recognise the importance of spiritual values and support in mental health.

Our origin

 BA was founded in 1986 through the pioneering effort of Christian parents whose son was mentally ill.

They wanted to raise awareness of the spiritual needs of people with mental health problems both in mental health services and in churches.

Our vision

… is that faith communities should be:

– places where people belong and in that belonging mental health needs are recognised and met.

– places where mental health needs encourage people to come together and also challenge, enlighten and enrich the community.

– places where we recognise that action needs to be taken to achieve this vision, so that people with mental health problems take their rightful place in inclusive communities where we all learn from each other.

Our aim

 is to enhance the quality of life, self-respect and spiritual growth of those affected by mental or emotional difficulties by encouraging :

– church and other faith communities to be alongside individuals who are so affected

– the development and continuation of local initiatives to support people with severe or enduring mental health difficulties

– those working in the provision of mental health services to recognise the importance of spiritual needs and resources.

Our reach

We have a network of supporters and we welcome and encourage people whatever their own faith or belief system.

We achieve our aims by Nationally:

Publicising the value of ‘being alongside’ people affected by mental or emotional difficulties in a quarterly newsletter Being Alongside .

Developing networks and resources

Providing details of resource material.

Publishing a quarterly newsletter

Working in partnership with other interested parties.

We achieve our aims regionally by:

Encouraging and promoting regional conferences.

Recommending speakers, facilitators for conferences, seminars or training courses.

We achieve our aims locally by:

Encouraging local groups to develop initiatives to support those affected by mental or emotional distress.

Publishing good practice guidelines. (Action Sheets)

Encouraging sustainable friendships.

The charity is governed by its National Committee It is primarily concerned to promote and encourage “being alongside” people experiencing mental or emotional distress.