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Seminar Organized on “Spirituality and Mental Health’’ in London

Yazıcı-dostu sürüm

London Yunus Emre Institute hosted University College London (UCL) doctoral student Merve Çetinkaya with her presentation titled "Spirituality and Mental Health:  Contribution of Spirituality to Inner Peace" in the 21st part of Young Academics Seminar Series.  

On Thursday, June 16, 2022, London Yunus Emre Institute hosted a presentation examining the relationship of spirituality with mental health and the individual's contribution to inner peace in the 21st and the last speech of the season of the Young Academics Series. The presentation made by Merve Çetinkaya, who continues her doctoral studies at UCL, was followed with great interest by the participants.


 Research shows that there is a deep connection between health and spirituality. Especially in contemporary societies, it seems that spirituality plays an important role in the inner peace of the individual. As the world tries to cope with the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, this issue has become an area that needs more attention. One of the most important points that an individual comes into contact with in her/his daily life regarding spirituality is support in coping with stress.

Continuing her studies on this subject, Merve Çetinkaya began her speech based on her research on the importance of spirituality for inner peace and well-being by explaining themes such as the meaning of spirituality, the British equivalent of spirituality, and the place of spirituality in modern societies. In the continuation of her presentation, Çetinkaya gave examples of her health and spirituality studies and the findings she collected during her doctoral education. While emphasizing the relationship between spirituality and inner peace, she shared the place that Sufism found itself in this spiritual atmosphere through her research on the effects of the religious practices of a Sufi group on their psychology during the Covid-19 epidemic. Çetinkaya examined the thoughts of "having spiritual beliefs but not being religious" and "believing and not belonging" in depth, stressing that the way of experiencing spirituality is both an individual and a social issue. 

In the continuation of her speech, Çetinkaya remarked that the 5 rules of well-being on the website of the NHS, the UK's National Health System, overlap with religious beliefs and spiritual practices, and she expanded her own research on Sufi groups and their mental health during the pandemic in the light of the findings she collected. The talk ended with a question and answer session.  


Merve Çetinkaya works as a doctoral student and graduate lecturer in the Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Brain Sciences of UCL. She is particularly interested in well-being, religious and spiritual rituals in the field of Spirituality and Mental Health. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in Religious Studies, Theology and Medicine at Ankara University, Kings College, and Yale University. In addition, Çetinkaya worked as a preacher in Muslim mental health charities and hospitals in England.

This event is a part of Young Academicians Seminar Series, which was established in 2017 and aims to be an international and multi-disciplinary knowledge sharing platform. Each seminar allows a graduate student who has shown extraordinary achievements to present their research on a Turkish-related or global topic to the British community. Thus, this long-running project provides anyone who is working on or interested in the topic of the seminar, with the opportunity to communicate with the academic leaders of tomorrow.  

You can watch the talk on Yunus Emre Institute London’s Youtube Channel, visit London Yunus Emre Institute’s website to follow the updates on the Young Academics Seminar Series at this link https://yeelondon.org.uk/or follow their social media accounts @yeelondra. 

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