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Spirituality SIG Chair Blog-September 2020

It has been a very strange few months, with so much change and adaptation needed that it has become quite exhausting at times. I encourage you all to dig deep into your spiritual resources, and the wisdom of your communities, to gain resilience to survive and thrive in corona times, and to share what works for you. Personally, I have discovered a new favourite poet, Malcolm Guite,   and find long walks and reading the Psalms helpful; particularly whilst preparing for, and waiting to be called up back into the NHS, which for me, never actually happened.

Farewell to Jo

It is with sadness and gratitude that the SPSIG exec has said goodbye to Jo Barber, our longstanding service user rep. Our farewells were muted by corona, but no less heartfelt. Jo has been an important member of the group, sharing her point of view and giving several significant conference talks, alongside her research and development work which she will be sharing with us at our next meeting online in December.

Welcome Grace

After a rigorous recruitment and interview process we welcome our new service user rep Grace Wood.

Grace writes:

“I am delighted to be appointed as the new Patient Representative for the SPSIGs exec committee. In this role I look forward to casting a light on how Spirituality can be an invaluable asset in the recovery from mental health issues. I will be seeking to build awareness within Psychiatry, as I believe this unsuspected resource can dramatically improve outcomes for patients.”

I look forward to introducing Grace to the other committee members in September and to the rest of the group at our December conference.

‘Spirituality and Mental Health: What does the NHS Provide?’

The day conference which we had planned for March was, as with so many other things, postponed due to the pandemic. We are pleased to be able to announce that it will be taking place online as two half days on the mornings of December 7th and 14th 2020. We are glad that all the speakers can still contribute, so the programme remains as originally published apart from timings.

There will be presentations on current projects and resources on the theme of Spirituality and Mental Health in today’s health service. There will be plenty of time for discussion and group work, and a scoping exercise to see what projects are happening near you.

This was planned as a small, intimate meeting where individuals would feel able to share personally. In order to retain this focus we are limiting automatic bookings to members of the RCPsych, other professionals who wish to attend should contact Catherine Langley the administrator for the SIGs,

Opportunities to serve

The four-year term of office for both myself and Christopher Findlay are coming to an end, so the Spirituality and Psychiatry SIG needs a new chair and a new finance officer. These are interesting roles joining a lively and active executive committee and a responsive membership group, and well supported by the college structures.  Anyone who would like to know more can contact us via


Please apply by our application form

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