An NHS Trust in Norfolk and Suffolk has launched a consultation about how spirituality and personal identity should be included in recovery from mental illnesses.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is holding four events over the next few months to gain feedback on how the public see spirituality fitting into the health care services it provides and how it influences a person’s sense of self.

Robert Nesbitt, Trust secretary, said: “Spirituality doesn’t just mean religion. The Trust defines it as the influences on a person’s view of the world, their place in it and how they interact with it.

“Not everyone sees spirituality as part of their identity but for those who do it can help them make sense of a breakdown and contribute to their recovery.

“The consultation events are a chance for people to get involved in identifying what the Trust’s priorities should be in regard to spirituality, and who should be involved in delivering the care that meets a patient’s spiritual needs.”

The events take place on:

  • Friday 28 September – The Rembrandt Room, St Clement’s Hospital, Ipswich, IP3 8LS
  • Tuesday 2 October – The Pierce Room, The Assembly House, Norwich, NR2 1RQ
  • Thursday 4 October – 2nd Half-Hall, Moreton Hall Community Centre, Symonds Road, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 7EW.
  • Tuesday 9 October – West Norfolk Professional Development Centre, King’s Lynn, IP30 2HJ

All the events are from 9am to 1pm and people should register their attendance by calling 01603 421104 or emailing [email protected]. Light refreshments will be provided.

Members of the public who can’t attend an event are welcome to take part in the consultation by completing an online survey here:

The feedback gathered will inform the Trust’s spirituality strategy, which will be launched in early 2013.

Robert added: “The NHS has changed a lot over the past decade and we need to think about how spirituality fits into a modern mental health service. Developing a spirituality strategy will help us to clarify what the role of spirituality means in regards to mental wellbeing, improve service users’ experiences and improve our joint working with the communities that we serve.”