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Spirituality, mental health and people with learning disabilities

Dave Ferguson (Hampshire Partnership NHS Trust)
Jayne Scott (Southampton City Community Learning Disabilities Health Team, Hampshire Partnership NHS Trust)

Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities

ISSN: 1753-0180

Article publication date: 1 June 2008



Spirituality has started to attract increased interest in the mental health arena over recent years. Indeed, psychiatrists are becoming more interested in spirituality because of the benefits it can bring to the mental health of service users. However, the issue of spirituality and the mental health needs of people who have learning disabilities has not been extensively researched or reported. This article explores the spiritual dimension in mental health care and its relevance to people with learning disabilities. A discussion of the development of a working group to scope the issues in one learning disability service is explored, with practical commentary on the efforts made to gather more information from service providers. The findings from a brief survey are briefly discussed, as well as the developments which have ensued to date. The authors conclude that, although spirituality can mean different things to different people, responding to the diverse spiritual needs of service users must take a person‐centred and flexible approach.



Ferguson, D. and Scott, J. (2008), "Spirituality, mental health and people with learning disabilities", Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 37-41.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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