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Spirituality workers from across Britain and Ireland gathered at St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre to attend a key training session on mental health.

Speakers came at the invitation of Fr Roger Dawson SJ, Director of St Beuno's, to share new approaches to accompanying those suffering or stigmatised because of poor mental health. 

Kate Dawson originally qualified as a social worker and has since gained 30 years’ worth of experience in the public sector and within mental health fields. Kate started a powerful conversation among those gathered about how self-compassion can in fact help others. 

Steve Noone, a clinical psychologist, led a fascinating session looking at the effects of stress, introducing the group to mindfulness techniques. This included holding a raisin and noting sensations such as the way it felt, sounded, smelt and tasted, and then eating a raisin in a (slow!) mindful way. 

Ellie Harrison, Spirituality Resources Coordinator for the Jesuits in Britain, said: "The course was very helpful and has changed the way I approach my work. While mindfulness and Ignatian Spirituality are different things and have different uses / values, there can be much to learn from both approaches to the way we live our lives. A deeper understanding of the experiential, whether an individual or shared experience, can help us to approach our lives in a more positive way and help us accompany others better."

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