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You are unique and of infinite value

The word SPIRIT comes from an older word for LIFE FORCE or BREATH.

Thinking, acting, feeling, seeing and learning in a spiritual way is – like recovery itself - a predominantly optimistic and hopeful state of mind and life. And it is all about finding meaning, purpose and a place for you – a sense of belonging if you like – no matter what you are, but because of who you are. In other words, spirituality reminds us that you and I are unique and of infinite value, and so is our neighbour, and so is the planet.

“[Spirituality is] The belief that life is a blessing, that we are all precious, literally, made of stardust and that we are creative beings in a creative universe.”

Knowing our own minds: a survey. MHF. ISBN 0 901944 39 4

"Mental Health is the emotional and spiritual resilience
that enables us to enjoy life and
survive pain, disappointment and sadness."

(Health Education Authority – UK, 1997)

Spirituality is a word that means different things for different people at different times in different cultures. Although expressed through religions, art, nature and the built environment for centuries, recent expressions of spirituality have become more varied. This is reflected in the range of vocabulary used to describe spirituality.

Some of the more common themes in the literature describe it using one or more of the following elements:

  • a sense of purpose
  • a sense of 'connectedness' - to self, others, nature, 'God' or Other
  • a quest for wholeness
  • a search for hope or harmony
  • a belief in a higher being or beings
  • some level of transcendence, or the sense that there is more to life than the material or practical, and those activities that give meaning and value to people's lives.

Spirituality can affect a person's coping styles and how well they live with their perceptions. It can also provide access to a network of social support and increase social capital (a sense of belonging, trust in others, and feeling trusted), both of which are widely acknowledged to promote and sustain emotional and psychological wellbeing.

Taken, with slight adaptations, from "The Impact of Spirituality on Mental Health"
A report written by Dr Deborah Cornah on behalf of the Mental Health Foundation Registered charity number 801130
ISBN: 978-1-903645-85-7 Mental Health Foundation 2006

Local Chaplaincies

Cambridge and Huntingdon
John Nicholson
Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 01223 218598

Peterborough, Huntingdon and Fenland
Rowena Bass and Mary Hanna
ECH Healthcare Campus
Bretton Gate
Tel: 01733 776000
email: and

If you would like to display a poster, please download one here, or one of our leaflets.

There is also a video about the CPFT Chaplaincy Service which can viewed here.

You might like to wander through the following web sites to explore spirituality in its broadest sense.

Local Churches and Religious Organisations in:

Green Spirit - Native American Spirit

Cambridge Inter-Faith Group

Prayer and Spirituality - Holistic Online

Sea of Faith


BBC Religious Department

Kingsgate Community Church, Peterborough who have a 'Celebrate Recovery' group running each Wednesday at 7.30pm

Newsletters from the Mental Health Chaplaincy in Cambridge

Documents on Spirituality and Mental Health
The impact of spirituality on mental health - Mental Health Foundation
Suicide and Spirituality - Dr Sally O’Brien
Making Space for Spirituality: How to support service users - The Mental Health Foundation
Guidelines on spirituality for staff in acute care services - Staffordshire University
The Spiritual Healthcare Network in the East of England
Keeping the Faith: spirituality and recovery from mental health problems
Spirituality Care Matters: an introductory resource for all NHS Scotland Staff
Spirituality, Recovery and Mental Health
(Working Together at Huntingdon lunch presentation - Nov 2009)


Last revised Dec 2014



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