ESSEX MIND AND SPIRIT
We are a community organisation that supports people by raising awareness of spiritual care in Mental Health recovery.
An important part of this work includes promoting respect for people’s beliefs and practices from faith traditions other than their own. This includes those beliefs of people who claim no religious affiliation…
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Talk on Spirituality and Mental Health – 15th June 2017
I was asked to give a talk on spirituality and Mental Health at the Colchester Mind and Spirit group. My interest in the topic had stemmed from the conflicting ideas that I had experienced regarding the topic whilst working as a mental health professional and being a practising Christian. I had met Christians who had definite views on healing and mental health without any real understanding of the issues involved.
Attitudes to mental health may vary among: Individuals, Families Ethnicities Cultures and these can affect individuals willingness to seek help. Swinton (2001) suggests that mental health can be defined in terms of the whole person rather than one aspect of them or their experience. There is no one clear definition of spirituality, however it has been suggested that modern spirituality typically includes a belief in a supernatural (beyond the known and observable) realm, personal growth, a quest for an ultimate/sacred meaning, religious experience or an encounter with one's own "inner dimension. “
The talk explored these issues and the link between spirituality and mental health, considering the person as an holistic being from my perspective as an occupational therapist having worked for many years in mental health. Dialogue throughout was encouraged from the audience who discussed their personal and professional experiences which resulted in constructive discussion. The conclusion of the talk briefly considered that professionals own beliefs may have an impact on addressing spiritual needs in service users, but also considered that health professionals are guided by both regulatory and professional bodies in their dealings with service users and other members of staff and have to be aware of these when discussing their own belief systems.
I enjoyed giving the talk and found it useful and encouraging to listen to the views of others.
Frances Sheppard – Occupational Therapist