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Hard to Believe

A Film About Spirituality and Mental Health

A person’s Spirituality (whether or not it involves religious beliefs) influences strongly how they see themselves in the world and society. It is now recognised that peoples’ Spirituality is an area that mental health services may have ignored or overlooked in the past. Some staff feel out of their depth in this area, some see such beliefs as being symptoms of mental ill health, and some may feel that religious beliefs have harmed people.

It is also the case that some people from Faith communities lack knowledge and understanding of mental health issues, even though there is evidence that spiritual well-being is an integral part of good mental health.

“Hard to Believe” considers both Mental health services’ attitude and knowledge regarding peoples’ spiritual needs and Faith communities’ understanding of mental health problems/issues.

The film tells the story of three service users, how their Spirituality was perceived by mental health services, and the role that Spirituality has played as part of their recovery.

The film considers the work of the Chaplaincy at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and Nigel Copsey’s Multi-Faith Team in East London. Dr Andrew Powell, who chairs the Royal College of Psychiatry’s Spirituality Special Interest Group, also features.

“Hard to Believe” explores models of good practice in terms of how mental health services can work better to meet peoples’ spiritual needs and also how faith communities can develop a better understanding of mental health problems and thus support people in their community who may be experiencing such difficulties.

The film is available on DVD with extended interviews and special features.

Cost: £35


Running time: 30 minutes

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Hard to Believe feedback

Hard to Believe is highlighted in the new Project Paper published by the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) and the Mental Health Foundation and will be a major educative and training resource across the country-and, hopefully, internationally. I am confident that it will help us all to create services which genuinely consider what is best for the whole person and act on that understanding.

Peter Gilbert, NIMHE/SCIE Fellow and Project Lead for the NIMHE/Mental Health Foundation Partnership on ‘Spirituality and Mental Health’.

Hard to Believe is sympathetic to faith leaders, mental health workers and service users – acknowledging fears, inviting further exploration and pointing to a way forward. The film should be helpful to anyone who wants to be more aware of issues concerning religious belief and mental health.

Mary Ellen Coyte, Mental Health Foundation

A balanced, integrated and compassionate view of the importance of spirituality in people’s recovery process . . . an important resource for mental health services, whether users, carers or professionals.

Community Care.

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