This one-day conference is being delivered by the University of Huddersfield in conjunction with the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SWYPT). It is open to all health and social care professionals, community and voluntary sector workers, service users and carers.

Spirituality is innately human and is concerned with what gives people hope, meaning and purpose. It is distinct from religion, although the two concepts may overlap for some people. Spiritually competent practice is a powerful way of supporting people to find hope, meaning and purpose in their lives. This is especially important when facing illness, mental health problems and crisis. For many people spirituality may link to their relationships, connection with others, work, hobbies, nature or faith. Spirituality is a universal part of being human. Compassionate motivation is central to providing spiritually competent care.

The conference aims to provide you with an understanding of the concepts and practice of spirituality and compassion, as well as its importance in Mental Health.

Keynote speakers include:

Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and a noted poet and translator of poetry, as well as a writer on a wide range of theological, historical and political themes. Dr Williams will speak on: ‘Nourishing the spirit: relations, stories, rhythms.’

Fiona Venner, Chief Executive of Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service. Fiona has worked in mental health since the early 1990s, always in the voluntary sector and predominantly in acute settings. Fiona will speak on compassion and love in crisis care.

Wilf McSherry, Professor of Dignity in Care at Staffordshire University and a published author. He is a founding and executive member of the British Association for The Study of Spirituality (BASS) and a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing. Professor McSherry will speak about spirituality and spiritually competent practice in health and social care.

Kevin Bond has a background in nursing and is former Chief Executive of NAVIGO, an innovative social enterprise which Kevin headed from its foundation, providing NHS mental health and associated social care services in North East Lincolnshire. Kevin will speak on revolutionising mental health provision through compassion.

Additional speakers include John Wattis, visiting Professor of Old Age Psychiatry who has a long-term interest in person-centred care, Dr Melanie Rogers, Spirituality Special Interest Group Chair and Advanced Nurse Practitioner/Senior Lecturer, and Phil Walters, Head of Inclusion, SWYPT.

The day will include:

  • An exploration of what spirituality means in the modern world
  • An understanding of what spirituality and compassion means in a health and social care context
  • Examples of compassionate and spirituality competent care in mental health
  • Practical models for integrating spirituality and compassion into care
  • Community and collaborative ways of working
  • Exploration of how management can promote spiritually competent practice

The conference will be held at the University of Huddersfield Business School on 11 July, from 9.30am – 4.30pm. For any additional information, please contact Anna Armitage. If you would like to attend, please reserve a place through the online store. Please note that a fee of £25 is payable for this conference. The closing date for booking is 6 June 2017.


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