Service User Views of Mental Health Spiritual and Pastoral Care Chaplaincy Services
Keywords:mental health, recovery, spiritual care, service user experience, chaplains
The aim of this research was to study the needs of mental health service users using spiritual and pastoral care, and to further inform an upcoming feasibility study to investigate spiritual care provision. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with mental health inpatients to assess their views of their spiritual strengths and needs. Framework analysis was based on the analysis used in a previous study with consideration for emergent themes coming from a more diverse population. Thirteen participants reflected different faiths and denominations. Overall, participants held religious views of the definition of spiritual care, but also valued highly the pastoral aspects of being listened to by a compassionate person with time to be with them. Some specific religious needs were highlighted. Most participants supported extending the chaplaincy provision. Key themes from a previous study recurred with the participants. Service users valued chaplaincy for chaplains’ skill in listening and providing choice, in that the option to engage in religious or spiritual practice was available but not pushed.
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