Produced by
What do I need to know about specific faiths?


Through 8.4 million incarnations you have wandered, to obtain this rare and precious human life.

And when I look again, then I find God as my helper. The path upon which I must walk is very depressing. It is sharper than a two-edged sword, and very narrow.

God is with you, so why do you wander around from forest to forest?

These pages were developed in conversation with representatives of different faith traditions in the UK. They are not reflective of all beliefs held by adherents of these faiths. Groupings and denominations within faith traditions are incredibly diverse and varied, and these pages do not comprehensively address the spectrum of views and positions held within each faith community.

These pages are focused on how adherents to different faiths may understand life challenges and access pastoral support structures. Their focus is therefore on public, rather than private, worship practices, and they do not give a comprehensive overview of beliefs or worship practices across different faith traditions.


The following content is intended to offer information on when, where and how Sikhs might access community-based support. It should not be treated as guidance on how to engage with the Sikhi community.

How is life, suffering, and death understood within the Sikh faith?





The following content is intended to offer information on when, where and how Sikhs might access community-based support. It should not be treated as guidance on how to engage with the Sikh community.

When do Sikhs gather / connect?

Regularly for congregational worship and fellowship (sangat), which typically takes place in the gurdwara. Different generations may attend different events in the gurdwara, for example camps for children and young people, and devotional singing.

Prayers, hymns, and readings from the Guru Granth Sahib happen at morning and evening services in the gurdwara, and many Sikhs gather at these times, but gurdwaras are open all day and can be accessed continually. They may be seen as places of sanctuary and comfort for those in distress.

Many gurdwaras hold Sunday gatherings, allowing more people to attend when free of work obligations.

Increasingly, devotional singing (Gurbani and Kirtan) is broadcast online. Some people choose to access worship this way.

Volunteering and service (seva) is a core part of the Sikh faith; many Sikhs will commit to volunteering in some capacity throughout the life of the community.

Langar is the continuous provision of free hot food, available to all, at the gurdwara. It is a key expression of Sikh values of compassion, generosity, service (seva) and equality, and may be accessed at any time.

Significant celebration times include the Birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji (November) and Vaisakhi (April), as well as Bandi Chor (Diwali) in November, which often mean going to the gurdwara.

Where do Sikhs gather / connect?

Larger gurdwaras are often prominent buildings in central urban settings, but gurdwaras vary in terms of architectural style and location.

Langar halls are where hot food is served and eaten in the gurdwara. They can be meeting places for Sikhs, and often include large kitchens where people volunteer to prepare food and clean.

Some larger gurdwaras offer wider programs of activity including education, outreach, advice, guidance and advocacy, youth work and medical/wellbeing services. This activity tends to be concentrated in urban areas and according to where there is available resource.

If a Sikh wanted to access faith-based wellbeing support, how and where might they do this?

Gurdwaras, and the broader programmes they offer, may be a first point of contact for someone in the community. They may be accessed at any time by those seeking help, refuge or support. As such, anybody involved in the running or upkeep of the gurdwara, including security and administrative roles, may have a role to play in noticing and supporting people in distress.

There is no formal priesthood in the Sikh faith, though some community members hold leadership roles. Granthis (ceremonial readers of the Guru Granth Sahib), or a gurdwara leader, may be consulted, alongside other members of the wider community of faith, however ceremonial leaders will most likely not have formal training in offering mental health support.

Larger gurdwaras may have dedicated structures of support around mental health and wellbeing, and access to counsellors and professionals trained in these areas.

There are many charities serving the Sikh community, including those dedicated to mental health and wellbeing. There are also Sikh-based counselling services, offering tailored, faith-based support for those that need it, including peer support.

Are there dedicated organisations offering faith-informed support?

Sikh Your Mind are an organisation seeking to raise awareness of mental health in the Sikh community and improving understanding of local NHS, private and voluntary sector support services.

Sikh Helpline are a trusted point of contact for those dealing with a range of issues, including cultural and social taboos, with their 24/7 free professional and confidential telephone counselling and email inquiry service.

Good Thinking Network feature resources to support mental health developed in collaboration with different faith traditions.

Taraki provides mental health support to Punjabi communities, helping to tackle stigma and navigating health systems, through media, training, peer support, research and policy.

Journey of Compassion are an organisation focused on offering support, advice and community throughout life’s journeys and struggles, providing faith-informed advice and guidance, retreats, courses and contemplation sessions.

Sehhat is a non–profit organisation, built from lived experiences to challenge the current mindset on mental health and suicide for the Sikh and Punjabi communities, providing bilingual educational resources, workshops, toolboxes and more. Sehhat has spent six years supporting the community across the United Kingdom with their core project, Sikh Forgiveness. 

Share on