Spiritual Health Lived Experience Advisory Committee (SHLEAC) presented at VTMH Monthly Seminar Series

SHLEAC were Guest presenter’s at VTMH Monthly Seminar series on 20 July which attracted 91 audience participants to explore Spirituality, spiritual care, and mental health: What’s the correlation? 

The audience were drawn from all the major tertiary health providers In Melbourne, private hospitals, community mental health agencies, higher education facilities, assorted specialist agencies and private practitioners. Individual presentations by Committee members were followed by a robust Q & A session.

The panel responded to a range of questions including:

  • What / who / (how)  helped you most to validate your spiritual experience when the system pathologized this?
  • What do you think the health care system can do to prioritise and include spirituality in their practice?
  • Have you experienced any challenges showing or expressing your spirituality during your participation as a client within the mental health system? Did the clinicians ask you questions about your spirituality and how this affects your well-being or hinders it?
  • I think spirituality is an important aspect but have found some hesitancy from those who have experienced spiritual/religious trauma to include this in the mental health space. How have you managed this when working with people?
  • Spirituality means a lot to those where one engages with it. How would you approach those of no religions? Census 2021 38.9% of Australian are of no religion with 25–34-year-old at 48.4%.  Hannah explained her dancing has helped – are there any other techniques used to connect the person to meaning and purpose during their mental health treatment?

Chat box feedback included:

  • Fantastic webinar. Thank you all for sharing your experience.
  • Thank you for a most informative webinar today. I’ll follow up on the Lived Experience Network.
  • People seem to benefit from wholistic person centred care.
  • Spirituality is an important issue that is often not addressed in the social care field.  
  • Thanks to the Committee – really appreciate and value the work you are doing.

Jenny Greenham, July 2022.

Photo: First row L to R: Abie Jazi (VTMH Moderator), Jenny Greenham, Hannah Friebel. Second row L to R: Maria Dimopoulos, Evan Bichara & Sylvia Piazza (VTMH Administrator). SHLEAC member Kevin Treloar is absent in this photo, but we shared his fantastic recorded presentation.