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Browse through our library of articles on themes of spirituality and mental health. We welcome your suggestions.

Breathing Space, (Jan 2006)

Professor Peter Gilbert

Spirituality is a tricky concept to understand.  Many people confuse those talking about their spirituality or spiritual needs as a reference to being a member of a religious institution.

Engaging Hearts and Minds… and the Spirit, (2007)

Professor Peter Gilbert

Since the tragic events of 9/11, faith has become an important discourse in society as a whole. This article explores aspects of that discourse in our multicultural society with special reference to mental health and well‐being, and describes a conference set up by NIMHE/Staffordshire University and the National Forum on Spirituality and Mental Health to explore how belief systems can affect people's well‐being and their recovery from mental illness

From the cradle - to beyond the grave, (2011)

Professor Peter Gilbert

This paper aims to describe the content and import of a conference held in partnership between Staffordshire University and The National Spirituality and Mental Health Forum on the importance of considering life in the context of human mortality, and the meaning and purpose of our lives. It was one of a series of conferences on the theme of health and multi‐belief systems; other conferences were on mental health and civic regeneration. A fourth conference is planned for 2012 on dementia and beliefs.

Taking a spiritual history

Larry Culliford

The rationale for assessing the spiritual needs of psychiatric patients is examined as a prelude to addressing the question of how to do this. A number of approaches are considered. The emphasis is on varieties of practical history-taking suitable for the repertoire of every psychiatrist in training and those engaged in CPD. Finally, some of the consequences of identifying spiritual needs in psychiatric patients are discussed.


Dilemmas of Spiritual Assessment: Considerations for Nursing Practice

Wilfred McSherry and Linda Ross (2002)

Interest in the spiritual dimension of nursing has resulted in a proliferation of published research internationally that is very prescriptive, suggesting that nurses should be providing spiritual care. However, little research has been published that provides nurses with a potential framework for the assessment and subsequent delivery of spiritual care. It would appear that there is a consensus of opinion that nurses can and should be able to undertake an assessment of their patients' spiritual needs. However, such assumptions may be unfounded, inaccurate, misguided and potentially detrimental to patient care. This article explores the area of spiritual assessment, drawing on the international literature, highlighting potential dilemmas in conducting a spiritual assessment. 


Faith Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: 


Aziz-ur Rehman

Mental Health, Religion and Culture

Professor Kate Loewenthal

In September 2010 this specialist journal published by Routledge, ran a special edition on religion, spirituality and mental health.


Why a forum on racially and ethnically diverse congregations? (2008)

Professor Peter Gilbert

As far back as 1899, in The Philadelphia Negro, W. E. B. Du Bois spoke about the "Negro Church" and the "White Church." He continued to do so throughout his long career, one that extended into the 1960s. Though he had his critiques, he largely praised the Negro Church as an adaptive institution that empowered African Americans in a racist nation.

Don’t mention God, (2006)

Professor Peter Gilbert and Natalie Watts

For many people with mental health problems, spirituality is an essential part of their recovery. This is something that mental health services are beginning to recognise. Peter Gilbert and Natalie Watts outline the role and aims of the NIMHE spirituality project and the issues it aims to address.

Faith in one city: exploring religion, spirituality and mental well-being in urban UK, (2011)

Professor Peter Gilbert

There are intense current debates about the place of belief systems in a secular society, and also whether the mechanistic approach to mental health care is sufficient for human beings. This paper aims to describe the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation NHS Trust (BSMHFT) spirituality and mental health research programme within that context.

Spiritual care and psychiatric treatment: an introduction

Larry Culliford

The Patron of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has pointed out the irony involved in recording patients' religion, without seeking to discover that all this means to them in terms of understanding and coping with their illness (HRH The Prince of Wales, 1991). One College past-President (Sims, 1994) firmly recommends evaluating the religious and spiritual experiences of our patients in assessing aetiology, diagnosis, prognosis and planning treatment. Across the water, an American Journal of Psychiatry editorial (Andreasen, 1996) has it that, ‘We must practice and preach the fact that psychiatrists are physicians to the soul as well as the body.’

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