Spirituality and Mental Health Network, West Wales Action for Mental Health
The aim of the network is to explore ways in which spirituality and religion has positively helped recovery from mental health problems. Within a respectful environment, our aim is to pursue wellness rather conformity to certain beliefs, with an emphasis on the positive effects of our beliefs and values rather than on the content of that belief.
As people we are more than physical bodies; modern psychiatry reflects this by describing a bio-psycho-social model of the person. Our thoughts, beliefs and what inspires us have tended to be seen as ‘psychological’. In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in what is loosely termed spirituality, which focuses on meaning and purpose in life, compassion, and a deeper connection with self, with others, and the wider world. Service users have made it clear that they often draw on their spiritual strengths and hope to aid recovery from mental illness. Andrew Sims, past president of Royal College of Psychiatrists, has said:
The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land (from Is Faith Delusion).
The project is open to past and present service users, is non-denominational and a belief in God is not necessary. The principle ground rules are respect for each other and there is no preaching. Instead of seeing our beliefs as signs of our illness, we want to explore them as strengths in our recovery. To the best of our knowledge few projects have attempted what we are trying to do and so with any project in its early days we are still finding our way.
If you are interested in the project please contact Tim Teeling on 01437 769942 or email [email protected]wamh.org.uk
“Hearing voices has not only enabled my spiritual growth and development, but has broadened my ability in helping others with their spiritual healing. You will discover my experience in dealing with hearing voices by reading mental illness stigma, and you can help yourself by doing cleansing.“
What Every Meditator Should Know About Seeing Visions and Hearing Voices
Promoting understanding and support for those going through profound personal transformation Spiritual crisis (often called Spiritual Emergency, Emergence, Awakening or psycho-spiritual crisis) is a turbulent period of spiritual opening and transformation.They recognise that spiritual crisis and mental health difficulties often overlap. Their vision is to act as a resource providing help and information: for those going through or recovering from spiritual crisis, for professionals, carers and supporters of those going through or recovering from spiritual crisis.
They are charity steered by a development group of volunteers including professionals, experts by experience, occupational therapists and a clinical psychologist.
SEN provides individuals that are experiencing difficulties with psychospiritual growth a therapist referral and support service that is staffed by trained graduate students. In a culture which has not understood issues surrounding spiritual development, the gift of being heard and understood by a knowledgeable and supportive listener can be life-altering.
Spiritual Recovery (UK)
“I am an individual who has undergone a transformative experience that in this culture and setting would be identified as psychosis or schizophrenic. Other cultures and settings have other names for the same experience: kundalini awakening, shamanism, mysticism, gnosis, the psychotic-visionary episode, the dark night of the soul, ego death, the alchemical process, positive disintegration, post traumatic stress disorder with psychotic features, spiritual emergency, etc. I was not on any form of spiritual path previous to that experience nor was I experimenting with ethnogens. I was simply an individual in a great deal of pain doing my best to get through it. That experience lasted approximately six weeks. I was guided through it by a mentor figure who appeared and served as my constant companion. Everything in this blog has been researched after the fact.”