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Relationships between Mental Health Services and Faith Communities: A Co-Produced Grounded Theory Study

RAFFAY, JULIAN,PAUL (2019) Relationships between Mental Health Services and Faith Communities: A Co-Produced Grounded Theory Study. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (Thesis) - Accepted Version


Despite demand outstripping provision, mental health services rarely collaborate with faith communities. Their practice contrasts with growing evidence that religious adherence improves resilience and promotes recovery. This thesis examined whether stakeholders wished closer cooperation.
Thirty participants, most from North-West England, were interviewed in five equally sized groups. Service users, carers, and staff were sampled for diverse world views. Faith community leaders and faith-based organization leaders also took part. The research, using semi-structured grounded theory interviews, produced three main conclusions. (1) Almost all participants welcomed faith community involvement. (2) They suggested that mental health services and faith communities offered something distinct and rooted in their fact–value complementarity. (3) The interviewees considered safeguarding and mental health promotion fruitful topics for collaboration.
The notion of fact–value complementarity offered an apt interpretation of the difference between participant and clinician-centred understandings of what promotes well-being. Participants reported that professional distance undermines mental health. Several credited their recovery to staff who had shared their own lived experience. Interviews favoured rebalancing statutory services towards the compassion participants so appreciated in faith community provision. The findings supported co-production literature arguing that staff, service users, and carers have vital contributions.
When patient and carer agency is considered, an ethical argument for co-production emerges. My work is original in suggesting that the ethics of co-production creates a compelling case for redesigning services around users' and carers' life goals and combatting stigma. Drawing on MacIntyre's virtue ethics suggests that service user and carer representation could correct excessive emphasis on targets.
This thesis shows that empirical theological research can contribute to secular professional practice and promote the church's mission in addressing mental health problems.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Theology and Ministry
Keywords:Practical theology; mental health; psychiatry; ethics; co-production; grounded theory
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:22 Oct 2019 13:01

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