Spirituality, Religion & Mental Health Conference

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About the course

This exciting one-day interactive CPD conference on spirituality, religion and mental health brings together keynote speakers from a range of health care backgrounds. There is increasing evidence and awareness that spirituality and religious beliefs can offer real benefits for mental well-being.

Who is this conference for?

  • Health professionals working at all levels in primary, secondary or community mental health services
  • Faith, pastoral, spirituality and carer professionals working with patients in the community or hospital
  • Academic and other clinical professionals with an interest mental health, spirituality and religion.


9.00am - 9.20am - Registration, tea and coffee.

9.20am – 9.30am - Chair’s welcome and introduction Dr Anil Pillai

9.30am – 10.15am - Overview and context: Why should health professionals ask about their clients spiritual/religious beliefs? Dr Mahmood Khan.

10.15am - 11.00am - Keynote address: Psychiatric symptoms & religious belief: overlap and differences. Professor Andrew Sims.

11.00am – 11.15 am – Refreshments.

11.15am – 12.00pm - Possession States: A south Indian context. Dr Anil Pillai.

12.00pm – 12.30 pm - Ask the experts: Questions from the audience.

12.30pm – 1.15 pm - Lunch and networking.

1.15pm – 2.45 pm - Depression: Sin, illness or transformative experience? (Including small group work) Dr Tasia Scrutton.

2.45pm – 3.00 pm – Refreshments

3.00pm – 4. 30 pm - Culturally competent mental health services: Design and delivery (including small group work). Alyas Karmani

4.30pm – 4.45pm - Final comments, review and Evaluation. Chair - Dr Mahmood Khan

Prof Andrew Sims is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Leeds. Past-President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Past Chair of Spirituality & Psychiatry Special Interest Group (Royal College of Psychiatrists). Professor Sims is a renowned national and international speaker who has authored several books including; Symptoms in the Mind (Editions 1 – 3), Is Faith Delusion? Mad or God? and Joint editor of Spirituality and Psychiatry and Spirituality and Narrative in Psychiatric Practice.

Dr Tasia Scrutton is Associate Professor in Philosophy and Religion at the University of Leeds. She is currently writing a book on Christianity and Depression: Interpretation, Meaning and the Shaping of Experience, which is aimed at people with pastoral roles in churches, psychiatrists and mental health professionals. Some recent publications include: Demons and depression: a philosophical analysis of Christian accounts of depression as demonic possession or oppression. For a volume of conference proceedings on Spirit Possession ed. Carolyn Blyth (Forthcoming, 2019); Beauty experience in depression recovery. For a volume on The Philosophy of Suffering, ed. Michael Brady, Jennifer Corns and David Bain. London: Routledge (Forthcoming, 2019); Grief, Ritual, and Belief. Continuing Bonds in Bereavement: New Directions for Research and Practice, ed. Dennis Klass and Edith Steffen. London: Routledge (2017).

Alyas Karmani has a Psychology background and has over 25 years of work experience in the Public Sector across a range of policy areas specialising in Equality and Diversity. He was former head of Race Equality for the Welsh Assembly Government (2004). Alyas was Co-Director of STREET UK (Strategy to reach, educate and empower teenagers) a specialist violence prevention intervention provider. Alyas is currently chair of Sharing Voices-Bradford a BME mental health community support project funded by the CCG and delivering mental health support based on a trans-cultural model that integrates spirituality. He routinely runs workshops and education programmes on transcultural topics including sexual respect and domestic violence prevention. He is currently completing his PhD at London Met University on 'The Crises of Masculinity and Urban Male violence'. Alyas is also an Imam at a number of Mosques across the UK and in 2017 was consultant on the BAFTA awarded documentary ‘Muslims like us’ for BBC.

Dr Mahmood Khan has worked for the past 18 years as Consultant Psychiatrist at Bradford District Care Trust. He has a special interest in Transcultural Psychiatry and whilst working in Bradford City CMHT has led on several major initiatives to improve the quality of mental health services for BME communities. Mahmood is also Associate Medical Director for Medical Education and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Leeds University where he routinely presents lectures and workshops.

To book please visit eventbrite

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