New Service to Offer Holistic and Spiritual Support

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) has relaunched one of its teams following a series of retirements. 

New Service to Offer Holistic and Spiritual Support

The Spiritual and Pastoral Care Team looks to provide support to CFT’s mental health and community service users, both in and off of the ward environment.

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests using spiritual care can have an immediate benefit on those in physical and mental ill health.*

CFT’s Spiritual and Pastoral Care Team is made up of faith and philosophical leaders who work together to offer support to service users and their carers, and to help answer some of the big questions that can arise when experiencing ill health.  Many of the team are volunteers who give up their free time and act as a resource for staff to work holistically with patients in their care.

Evidence suggests that utilising chaplaincy care can have an immediate and enduring benefit on those facing situations which are at times harrowing and stressful. Situations include: sudden infant death; psychosis; dementia; diagnosis of life-threatening conditions; end of life care and various kinds of self-harm*.

Reverend Kathy Brooke, Lead Chaplain for the Spiritual and Pastoral Care Team commented “Our team is committed to respect and value everyone’s spiritual, pastoral and religious needs, regardless of their race, disability, sexual orientation, age or gender. We work hard to care for each individual, including children and young people, and to respond to everyone who requests to be seen.”

The team also provides opportunities to discuss things of existential value such as the meaning of life and life after death, can read from a choice of Holy books, pray in the service users own tradition, and offer encouragement, comfort and reassurance.

“The increase in staffing will help us provide support to those of ill health and to enable these persons to be more mentally robust going forward” continued Reverend Kathy. “It is the work of a truly compassionate healthcare organisation that can provide spiritual support to those faced with distressing and traumatic situations. By demonstrating that people truly matter when they are at their lowest can provide the flicker of hope that they need.”

CFT’s chaplains can also be found in a variety of community settings, including: treatment centres; the home (when appropriate); day and resource centres; respite centres and supported domestic houses, among other venues. The chaplains will see people both by referral, self-referral and routine ward visits.

At present, there are two volunteers working in mental health, along with small teams in Helston, Bodmin and Liskeard Community Hospitals. If you are interested in volunteering for the team please contact cft.chaplains@nhs.net.