Research into Recovery and Wellbeing

A website about the work of the recovery research team at the Institute of Mental Health

The University of Nottingham


The Spirituality Project: The role of spirituality in mental health and recovery

Spirituality in both religious and non-religious forms is important in many people’s recovery. However, there is a ‘religiosity gap’ in the difference in value placed on spirituality and religion by mental health professionals compared with service users. As a result, spiritual needs are often neglected in clinical practice.

The aim of this study is to improve understanding about spirituality and mental health.


Stage 1: The MISTIC Study

A qualitative systematic review identified and thematically analysed 37 peer reviewed studies:

Milner K, Crawford P, Edgley A, Hare Duke L, Slade M (2020) The experiences of spirituality among adults with mental health difficulties: a qualitative systematic review, Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 29, e34.

Six themes emerged, giving the acronym MISTIC:




Talk about it

Interaction with symptoms



Stage 2: Exploring stories of spirituality and mental health

A narrative study will use interviews to explore the role of spirituality for people who experience mental health difficulties, focussing specifically on the way people use spirituality to find meaning in their experiences and how this process develops over time.

The research will develop theory to inform training resources for clinicians to better understand service user’s spiritual experiences and provide for their spiritual needs. 


For further information about the MISTIC Study please contact Katja Milner (