Authors: Clare Wilding
Event: 2002 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings Occupational Therapy, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: This paper presents research that examined the role of spirituality in the day to day lives of people who have experienced mental illness. Six people who have experienced mental illness participated in the research by sharing their stories of what spirituality means to them, what had been the effect of mental illness upon their spirituality and how spirituality is part of their everyday lives. Some interesting findings that are of relevance to people living with mental illness, health professionals, and researchers emerged from this study. These included that spirituality was seen as both literally life-saving and that it provided meaning in life where previously there had been none. Mental illness was often the stimulus for the participant's journey into developing his/her spirituality. Spirituality was seen to imbue everyday life with meaning and relevance that enhanced the quality of the experience of living. In this paper, I will illustrate the themes, which I have just outlined above, that emerged from the research through a synthesis of my reflections as researcher and the participants' stories as told during the research.