Mental Health & Well-being
An event: The Second Professor Peter Gilbert Memorial Lecture - organised by the:
National Spirituality and Mental Health Forum
Guest Speaker: Professor John Swinton will be speaking about: 'Naming things properly: Re-imagining “mental illness”, "dementia"and other seriously misunderstood experiences'on Monday 9th May 2016 from 2.00 to 4.45 pm
The lecture will focus on the significance of naming things properly. It will explore some of the ways in which we have come to misname the experiences that are associated with certain forms of mental health problem, causing many of us to misinterpret and respond negatively to such experiences. The lecture will offer a spiritual perspective that can effectively help us to re-name such experiences in ways which offer hope and new possibilities. Our guest speaker is John Swinton, Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care at the University of Aberdeen. He is also an honorary Professor of Nursing at the university's Centre for Advanced Studies in Ministry.
For 16 years Professor Swinton worked as a registered nurse specialising in psychiatry and learning disabilities, before working as a community health chaplain. He entered academia in the late eighties. In 2004, he founded the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability. He has published widely in his major fields of interest. His publications include: Dementia: Living in the memories of God, Disability in the Christian Tradition (With Brian Brock), Raging with Compassion: Pastoral responses to the Problem of Evil, Spirituality in Mental Health Care: Rediscovering a “Forgotten “Dimension and Resurrecting the Person: Friendship and the care of people with mental health problems.
A helpful book: 'How to Do Life' - powerful pointers for powerful living' by Perry Akasha Lonsdale. This is a real gem of a book full of helpful 'tips' on how to live life, written by an empathetic and kind psychotherapist, coach, counsellor and Interfaith Minister! Buy it from Akasha's website:
Research findings: The Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Spirituality - Dr William Bloom (the well known and well respected contemporary spirituality author and teacher) has given us permission to make available his notes on this topic as a free download -
Dr William Bloom is one the UK’s most experienced teachers, healers, and authors in the field of holistic development and a pioneer in the field of wellbeing and spirituality. Director of the Spiritual Companions Trust, he spent 30 years on the faculty of the Findhorn Foundation and was co-founder and director of the St James Church Alternatives Programme in London. His books include The Endorphin Effect, The Power of Modern Spirituality, and Meditation in a Changing World. He is a popular speaker at International Health Conferences and has worked with the NHS, The Penny Brohn Centre and hospices.
Ocean Recovery is a national provider of mental health and addiction treatment. Ocean Recovery provides a range of therapy on an inpatient or outpatient basis. http://oceanrecoverycentre.com/
Breakthrough Art - art in mental health - showcasing people's creative talents.Breakthrough Art is a user led organisation that promotes positive mental health through the creative arts. The pictures on their website and the accompanying Reflections Magazine showcase the creative talents and art of people who have suffered mental distress. http://breakthroughmhart.com
Spirituality is repeatedly found to be an important component of a person’s well-being. Despite this, people’s spiritual needs are often seen to be neglected during treatment and in developing and managing care plans for day-to-day activities, and even in some cases seen to be part of the individual’s psychosis or delusions. Rethink
Spirituality means different things to different people and people express their spirituality in varied ways. Spirituality can play an important role in helping people maintain good mental health and live with, or recover from, mental health problems. Mental health services therefore need to respect service users’ needs to express their spirituality. Mental Health Foundation
My advice: Unplug!. Just unplug it all. Phone, TV, Internet. Dump the ‘to do’ list, let go of the ‘I should be doing something’ head monster thoughts.
Reconnect to yourself - meditate, paint, walk in nature, get a massage, read beautiful words. In short take some good ‘me’ time. For sure there are things you could be doing, BUT not right now. Take the time to be silent with yourself and check to see if you like the company you keep there.
Then go out into the world and ask how you can be of service.
The environment totally dictates our spirituality, our energy, our aspirations and our self-image. That is why it’s important to create our own social environments built on community and respect of others. Playing violent computer games. Eating fast food. Watching television. Smoking, Drinking. Not getting enough sleep. No role models other than celebrity. Do you want to live here? No. So, we do actually know what nurtures us then…..so, it’s about choices and opportunities.
I believe that we are at the tipping point with our society and that we now need strong spiritual influencers to inspire and ignite our will to change and make a difference.
It’s time for a combined political will to educate spirituality rather that subjugate the unconscious. We are incredible and we need to reconnect to that thought. Mel Carlile, Mind, Body and Spirit Festival, London http://www.mindbodyspirit.co.uk/london/