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Mental Health, Older People and Faith Communities

16th March - 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

In a series of free on-line seminars, we will be exploring the issues encountered by faith communities in supporting people with mental health challenges.   Mental wellbeing is at the forefront of current considerations, but these seminars will look at issues around long- term mental health challenges as well as the impact of Covid-19.

The seminars are complementary to the work being undertaken on mental health and older people under the aegis of Voluntary Health Scotland.

First Seminar

16th March 2021 at 4.30 via Zoom – The role of faith in the lives of Christians living with mental health challenges   

Rev Professor John Swinton , Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care and Theological Advisory to FiOP




Future sessions:

13th April: Professor Austyn Snowden will address Understanding Mental Health Problems

6th May: Rev Canon Dr Marion Chatterley  will consider The Impact of Death, Dying and Bereavement on Mental Health

18th May: Dr Gill Yellowlees – will discuss the impact of mental health issues on individuals themselves and or those who for whom they care.  Understanding mental illness is more about asking questions and having a willingness to listen, than it is about knowing the answers. This workshop is an opportunity for people involved in pastoral care work to reflect on our own experiences of walking alongside others who are suffering with mental illness, with a particular emphasis on the needs of older people. There will be more of a focus on illnesses such as depression, anxiety and psychosis, than on dementia.

The workshop will be interactive and will include time for small group discussions in breakout rooms. Participants will need to have a basic level of confidence in using Zoom (e.g. mute/unmute, gallery/speaker view and the chat function), and a device which will allow for seeing at least 16 frames on screen.

June (date tbc) in partnership with Interfaith Scotland a panel will look at the perspectives on Mental Health from Different Faiths