Religion and Suicide

exploring the role of the church in deaths by suicide in Highland, Scotland


  • Harriet Mowat Mowat Research Ltd.
  • John Swinton The Centre for the Study of Spirituality Disability and Health
  • Donald Mowat Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen
  • Cameron Stark University of Aberdeen



Mental health, religion, suicide, spirituality


This article reports aspects of a study conducted in 2005 which explored the role of the church as a voluntary organisation, in deaths by Suicide in Highland. The study was explorative and consisted of interviewing ministers from the Christian Churches of different denominations in Highland about their own experiences as ministers of the Church, of death by suicide and what they understood to be the key aspects of their experiences that might contribute to thinking about how the Church could offer protection and solace. Two findings are highlighted here: the importance of multidisciplinary education involving ministers and the potential of parish nursing as a mechanism for connectedness.

Author Biographies

Harriet Mowat, Mowat Research Ltd.

Harriet Mowat is the Managing Director of Mowat Research Ltd, and an honorary senior lecturer at the Centre for the Study of spirituality, disability and health.

John Swinton, The Centre for the Study of Spirituality Disability and Health

John Swinton is Professor of Practical Theology, The Centre for the Study of Spirituality Disability and Health.

Donald Mowat, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen

Donald Mowat is a Consultant Psychiatrist at Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen.

Cameron Stark, University of Aberdeen

Cameron Stark is a public health physician, Highland Health Board and a senior lecturer at Centre for Rural Studies, Inverness, Aberdeen University .


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How to Cite

Mowat, H., Swinton, J., Mowat, D., & Stark, C. (2013). Religion and Suicide: exploring the role of the church in deaths by suicide in Highland, Scotland. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 3–7.

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