Spirituality and Mental Health

Revd Philip Evans, the Lead Chaplain at St Andrew’s Healthcare (the specialist mental healthcare charity based in Northampton) was recently invited to make a presentation to a conference of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, hosted by its Spirituality Specialist Interest Group (SIG).

The conference, entitled ‘Spirituality and Mental Health: What does the NHS Provide?’, was held over Zoom on both Friday 4th and 11th December 2020, and the Spirituality SIG invited Philip and Dr Paul Wallang (St Andrew’s Associate Medical Director in Research and Innovation) to speak about their work on measuring the mental health outcomes of spirituality and faith.

You can watch their presentation below:

Over the past two years, the Chaplaincy team have developed a means of using patient-reported outcomes to demonstrate and measure the impact of faith and spirituality. A pilot project using assessments from 24 patients was completed early in 2020, which the team believe has helped to gain a completely holistic picture of individual patients.

Speaking after the conference, Philip said the presentation had been very warmly received: “It was a privilege to be invited to share our work from St Andrew’s at this level. There was real interest in what we had achieved, and a hope that we would be able to publish our findings more widely.”

St Andrew’s Governor and practising psychotherapist, Lady Tracy Northampton, attended the conference. She said: “The input Philip and Paul gave to the conference made me really proud of being part of St Andrew’s. The video presentation is brilliant – a must-watch – and it shows so clearly how important spirituality is to our patients and their mental health.”

Paul and Philip have also been invited to speak at an international webinar coordinated by the Value Institute at Dell Medical School (University of Texas) on Thursday 4th February. Their talk will be entitled ‘Measurement in mental health care. Does spirituality count, and can it be counted?’ You can book up for this webinar here.

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