This impressive and international set of chapters, mostly practice-oriented with pertinent academic background (Cook, Ryan and Bierbaum), ranges through the changing and contested landscape of mental well-being and spiritual care. Underlain by the impact of the NHS Chaplaincy Guidelines 2015 and the UK Equality Act 2010, the work embraces both professional identity, volunteer and service user deployment (Harrison, Allen and Eaton), and Recovery College and 'Exploring Your Spiritual Side' models, including vital coverage of learning disability, dementia and the community (Louis and Isakjee, Collins et al; Kevern and Brooker; Bunker). Fletcher brings together a compelling compendium which offers, in her words, a sustaining 'cycle of pastoral support'. The chapters evidence admirable scope and local colour to create a bright meaning-rich rainbow of experience and learning. The book breaks new ground in showcasing what is best in the diverse practice of NHS mental health chaplaincy today.
This is an important addition to the growing body of work which reflects on the experience of chaplaincy and spiritual care. The authors are leading practitioners and academics, offering significant insights into the context of mental health care. Essential reading for those involved or connected to this field.
Jean Fletcher must be congratulated for bringing together such a diverse and rich expression of mental health chaplaincy. This book will engage the reader in sustained reflection on the practice of spiritual care in settings that ask the profoundest of questions about the nature of human life.
'Holistic and Person Centred Care' resounded like a refrain in my heart as I read this resource book full of the wisdom, love and broad experience of its authors. The passion they have in common? Amazing creativity in finding ways to be alongside and care for sufferers of mental, emotional and spiritual distress or disturbance; listen deeply to their individual stories as they struggle to give meaning to their life journey. No easy answers, instead a lot of helpful questions for reflective practice.