HIVAIDS/Mental Health and Spirituality

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Mental Health and Spirituality

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Otago Polytechnic Student Portal and Student IT Service Desk
Bill Robertson library services and facilities for remote students
Library of resources
Elluminate web conference - Class meeting link
email discussion forum on Google Groups

To Do

  • View the presentation about mental health issues specifically in relation to long term survivors of HIV/AIDS.
  • View the ‎ Spirituality presentation;
  • Read the material on the Stigma and Discrimination topic in the next section
  • Review the spiritual dimension of HIV/AIDS and Planning for Spiritual Care (further on in this section);
  • Explore and discuss a selection of spiritual scenarios.

Stigma and discrimination

One aspect of ensuring mental health is the promotion of a positive attitude and the acceptance and support from family, friends, partner(s) and the community. Stigma and discrimination can have a negative impact on an individual's mental health. (Contribution by Feriyal Baptist from the MindSet Network.

Planning for spiritual care

Long term goal: To minimize spiritual distress


The patient will do the following:

  • Continue spiritual practices which are not detrimental to health;
  • Express decreased feelings of guilt and anxiety;
  • Express religious or spiritual satisfaction;
  • State that conflict has been reduced or eliminated;
  • Express comfort with their relationship with their god and with significant others;
  • Rest comfortably;
  • State acceptance of ethical/moral decisions;
  • Display positive affect and behaviour;
  • State that they feel at peace;
  • Express positive meaning in their existence and in their present circumstances.


  • Establish an environment that promotes free expression of feelings and concerns;
  • Use therapeutic communication skills of reflection and active listening;
  • Appropriate use of presence and touch;
  • Promote patient’s spiritual beliefs
  • Encourage or help maintain patient’s relationship with their personal god;
  • Promote patient’s sense of hope;
  • Refer to appropriate resources for help;
  • Advocate for the patient’s spiritual beliefs with the health team;
  • Provide spiritual resources if otherwise unavailable.
  • Assist the patient to do the following:
Meet his or her own spiritual goals;
Fulfil religious obligations;
Use spiritual resources to meet the present situation;
Find meaning in their existence and in their present difficult situation;
Mend disrupted relationships.

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Return to the Previous Page: Legal, Ethical, Moral Issues

Go to the next page: Issues for Women and Children