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Spiritual and Pastoral care

If you have landed on this page and are a service user or carer, you may find the linked pages more relevant. 

We are here to support service users, carers, and staff. We work with people of all faiths and none.

People talk to us about

  • depression
  • loneliness
  • bereavement
  • physical health problems
  • religious issues
  • abuse
  • suicide
  • addictions
  • debt
  • sexuality issues
  • many other subjects.

We may simply listen or suggest other people who can help.

Conversations are normally confidential. Information will only go on your medical records if agreed or if we are told something suggesting harm someone.

Our team includes Chaplains and Pastoral Volunteers (of various faiths and none). The Chaplains are NHS staff. Both the Chaplains and Volunteers have significant experience of working alongside people with mental health difficulties. We value recovery approaches.

If you would like to talk to us, please email spirit@merseycare.nhs.uk or phone (0151) 471 2608 (Local division) or (0151) 472 4564 (Secure and Specialist Learning Disability Division). We work Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and do not have on-call. If the matter is urgent, please let us know, and we will reply as soon as possible. Our office is based at the Life Rooms in Walton.

Frequently asked questions

For fuller versions of this section please see service user [insert hyperlink to service user page] or carer [insert hyperlink to carer page] pages.

How can I….

  • get help in hospital?

The nursing team are the main providers of routine spiritual care. They should provide basic support for your spirituality, faith, or religious belief. To speak to a chaplain, please ask a staff member or contact us directly (see above).

·        receive spiritual care in the community/as a carer?

We seek to support people in the community who use Mersey Care’s services as well as their carers.

We normally ask you to meet us in one of Mersey Care’s buildings. If you have any special needs that would make that difficult for you, please let us know.

·        get help with my faith?

We appreciate you may be struggling with your faith, that you don’t want to share with your faith community leader, or you don’t have a faith leader. If so, we can help.

·        become involved?

Pastoral Volunteers work alongside the Chaplains. We welcome service user and carer applicants. Please contact us for more information.

Staff

If you are a member of Mersey Care staff, please visit our internal website where you will find additional tools and resources, including our multifaith app and blog.

Mental health study day

We have produced the award-winning study day Mental Health: Challenge of Opportunity? This is designed primarily with church audiences in mind but could easily be adapted for other groups. To find out more, please contact us.

Research

Mersey Care’s Spiritual and Pastoral Care team is pioneering research to demonstrate the value of researching, designing, and delivering services with those who use them. Do please let us know if you would like to shape our research programme by being part of our Lived Experience Advisory Panel. We only conduct research with people giving their consent and choosing to do so freely. Please see our publication http://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-016-0903-9 . For more information, please contact us.

Further reading

Spiritual and Pastoral Care is an important feature of the recovery approach, pointing to a greater sense of hope, self-worth, and empowerment among service users wherever they are on their journey.

The positive contribution that spirituality can make in improving mental health and well-being is of growing interest academically, clinically, and pastorally. The links below will help you deepen your understanding.

Making Space for Spirituality: How to Support Service Users

Explains the importance of spirituality and suggests how staff can include it in their care. Of interest to service users, carers, and staff.

Recommendations for Psychiatrists on Spirituality and Religion

Recommends psychiatrists should routinely consider spirituality and religious beliefs and that these will sometimes form ‘an essential component of clinical assessment.’

Spirituality in Nursing Care - A pocket guide

A quick and easy read from the Royal College of Nursing.

Service User Views of Spiritual and Pastoral Care (Chaplaincy) in NHS Mental Health Services: A Co-Produced Constructivist Grounded Theory Investigation

Our contribution to academic debate.

Co-production in Mental Health: A Literature Review

Co-production is an approach that seeks to recognise the vital contributions made by service users, carers, and staff.

 

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