Slides S82: Heart and Soul Matters: Making space for spirituality. Working towards a place where our consumers feel seen and heard at their essence, a place where true person centred models of care become more than just rhetoric.

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By October 19, 2016 No Comments

Authors: Jennifer Greenham

Year: 2016

Event: 2016 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Culture, spirituality, collaboration, advocacy, culture & society, innovation, quality, lived experience, new pathways to care, resillience and grief, wellbeing, spiritual health victoria

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: The paper will focus on the key concepts of authenticity and how workers can make a positive difference in the lives of consumers. The workforce, when trained in spirituality and spiritual care, are more able align to the values and needs of consumers.
I will present the findings of a pilot training program that ran in 2015 which introduced mental health staff in regional Victoria to concepts of spirituality and spiritual care.

We will briefly consider the historical origins of ‘recovery’, and what it shares in common with spiritual care models. Both champion hope, choice, dignity, respect, inclusion & empowerment. These values underpin the things that give people meaning and purpose.
‘Meaning making’ is a process that people engage in when confronted with illness or trauma. How confident do staff feel when called upon to engage in work of a spiritual nature? What personal, professional or systemic prejudices are present?

Data collected from the pilot program including pre, post and six month Survey Monkey questionnaire suggests that after specific education into an area regarded as taboo, workers felt confident to initiate conversations. In one instance, the additional skills of the worker proved to be a game changer.

Recovery must consider the whole person including the spiritual dimension. This is where meaningful change is possible. We can no longer neglect the spiritual care dimension of consumers who seek this depth of connection.

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