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24.10.2017 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Journal of Religion and Health 1/2018

Including the ‘Spiritual’ Within Mental Health Care in the UK, from the Experiences of People with Mental Health Problems

Journal of Religion and Health > Ausgabe 1/2018
R. Forrester-Jones, L. Dietzfelbinger, D. Stedman, P. Richmond


Spirituality as a dimension of quality of life and well-being has recently begun to be more valued within person-centred treatment approaches to mental health in the UK. The aim of this paper is to provide indicators of the extent to which accessing a spiritual support group may be useful within mental health recovery from the view point of those in receipt of it. The study design was a small-scale exploratory study utilising mixed methods. Quantitative methods were used to map the mental health, general well-being and social networks of the group. These were complimented by a semi-structured open-ended interview which allowed for Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of the life-history accounts of nine individuals with mental health problems who attended a ‘spirituality support group’. Data from unstructured open-ended interviews with five faith chaplains and a mental health day centre manager were also analysed using thematic analysis. The views of 15 participants are therefore recounted. Participants reported that the group offered them: an alternative to more formal religious organisations, and an opportunity to settle spiritual confusions/fears. The ‘group’ was also reported to generally help individual’s subjective feelings of mental wellness through social support. Whilst the merits of spiritual care are appealing, convincing services to include it within treatment may still be difficult.

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