In the magnificent Waldegrave Room at St Mary’s University, Twickenham the Bishops’ Mental Health Project in partnership with The Centre for Initiatives in Spirituality and Reconciliation (InSpiRe) hosted a conference with themes relating to mental health and spiritual life on Saturday 6th June, 2015.
The conference ‘Mental Well-Being: Listening with Compassion’ was part of the drive to raise awareness about mental health challenges and to address issues of stigma and discrimination. More than 70 people attended and it was considered such a good day that there was great enthusiasm for another event next year. Professor Peter Tyler is already gathering the next planning group!
Bishop Richard Moth, Chair of the Board of Governors at St Mary’s, Chair of The Catholic Bishops’ Conference Mental Health Project and recently installed as Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, welcomed everyone and led the first session entitled Evangelli Gaudium: Compassion and Mercy in Mental Health.
Other speakers at the conference included Dr Trevor Stammers who led an interactive workshop on Poetry and Compassion in Mental Health and Professor in Theology and Religion at Durham University Prof Chris Cook spoke about ‘Mental Well-Being’ and gave previews of his (soon to be published) current work.
Lively responses to the talks were given by Sr Dr Helen Costigane, Prof Peter Tyler and Bishop Richard Moth and much time was also given to group listening and discussions among all those present.
About the conference Bishop Richard Moth said, “I welcome this initiative and collaboration between St Mary’s University and the Bishops’ Conference Mental Health Project. I am confident that this Conference will develop the response of the University and the Church in England and Wales to the many people within our society who live with mental health difficulties.”