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A spiritual journey in the darkness: enlightenment of lived experiences in mental illness

It was an great priviliage to have Rick Rossiter deliver a public lecture 'A spiritual journey in the darkness: enlightenment of lived experiences in mental illness' today as part of the Spirituality Research and Innovation Group Public Lecture Series, in the School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. Rick is a mental health services user. Through his lived experience of mental health difficulties, Rick is now an advocate for mental health, a Consultant on e-health Ireland, a Spokesperson for See Change, Refocus, AWARE, and the Mental Health Reform. Rick is an Ambassador for the organisation Aware and moderates online content for Aware. He is an Ambassador for See Change advocating for education to end mental health stigma, resources and funding in mental health through various media platforms. Rick has contributed to First Fortnight (Centre for Creative therapies which provides an art psychotherapy service to adults with experiences of homelessness or at risk of homelessness) in writing reviews on shows and taking part on discussion panels on mental health issues in addition to volunteering. He is a Committee Member for the Refocus Group aligned to the College of Psychiatrists Ireland which is a recovery experience forum of carers, service users and psychiatrists to develop new approaches in Psychiatric Training for Doctors. He is an avid writer and Blogger.

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Teaching and Learning Event in Malta as (EPICC)

Assoc. Professor Fiona Timmins and Asst Professor Jacqueline Whelan are currently attending a Teaching and Learning Event in Malta as (EPICC) participants 'Enhancing Nurses' and Midwives’ Competence in Providing Spiritual Care through Innovative Education and Compassionate Care' whose aim is to develop a gold standard matrix for the development of spiritual care competencies in undergraduate nursing and midwifery students across Europe. The EPICC project was launched at Staffordshire University in April 2017 (See link :http://www.staffs.ac.uk/news/eu-project-champions-the-spiritual-care-of-patients-tcm4293731.jsp) involving six partners, and 23 nursing and midwifery educators from 16 European countries: Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK, and Ukraine. EPICC has the potential to generate a rich insight into current educational practice, to enable the sharing of best practice and the development of a uniform approach to how personal, religious and spiritual beliefs are incorporated into nursing and midwifery curricula through the generation of guidance.

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Spiritual care in the health service; still relevant and realistic?

Dr Linda Ross , Reader in Spirituality & Healthcare, University of Wales delivered a public lecture 'Spiritual care in the health service; still relevant and realistic?' today as part of the Spirituality Research and Innovation Group  Public Lecture Series, in the School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin.


Public Lecture Series 2017-2018 - 7th December 2017 

René van Leeuwen is a registered nurse and professor at Viaa Christian University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.At this University he is leading a Research Group on spirituality and healthcare. The main focus of this Research Group is on practice oriented research regarding competence development of nurses in spirituality and spiritual care.

In this lecture  Prof van Leeuwen presented/considered the history of spiritual care education in the Netherlands and competence based learning as foundation of today's spiritual care education. He outlined the 3-P Competence Model (Person, Practice and Perspective) developed by Prof van Leeuwen and used as the basis for the development of spiritual care education in the Netherlands. Prof van Leeuwen presented some current innovative learning strategies, used in the Netherlands, based on these 3-P competences including on-line education, simulated education, learning in practice/internships and training of spiritual care ambassadors in the working place and the outcomes from recent research studies regarding these educational strategies. Several interesting perspectives on future directions in nursing education were explored. Preliminary results of the European EPICC project regarding spiritual care education in nursing and midwifery were included. Please click here for more information: EPICC Website


3rd International Spirituality in Healthcare Conference

The 3rd International Spirituality in Healthcare Conference was opened on 22 June 2017 by the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Mary McCarron.

Distinguished keynote speakers included Prof Mary Jo Kreitzer and Rev Dr Christopher Swift. Mary Jo Kreitzer is the founder and director of the Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota where she also serves as a tenured professor in the School of Nursing.  Christopher Swift has worked in healthcare chaplaincy for more than 20 years.  Since 2001 he has been Head of Chaplaincy at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.  He is a part-time lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Leeds.
At this international conference, there were more than 30 concurrent papers, presented by participants representing seven countries.


Spirituality Research and Innovation Group Public Lecture May 18 2017:

Spirituality is a public health issue Dr Richard Egan: University of Otago

Dr Richard Egan presented an excellent presentation regarding thegrowing support for a 'new public health' approach, which takes a holistic view, encompassing four key dimensions of health: physical, mental, social and spiritual. This holistic approach parallels the New Zealand Māori model of health, Te Whare Tapa Whā, a model that highlights the interdependence of Te Taha Wairua (spirituality), Te Taha Hinengaro (emotional and psychological health), Te Taha Tinana (physical health) and Te Taha Whānau (social wellbeing). However he highlighted that public health engagement with the spiritual dimension remains largely theoretical and implicit. Despite a growing literature base at the healthcare level, spirituality remains relatively overlooked in public health peer-reviewed literature and practice. This omission is an obstacle to achieving the public health goal of ‘healthy populations’.

Dr Richard Egan lives, works and surfs in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is a senior lecturer in health promotion, based in the Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit, Department of Preventive & Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago.

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