MSc. M.Ed. BA(Hons) Dip Psych. UKCP
Head of Pastoral & Spiritual Care
Mike Gartland is a Church minister of England, who leads a mental health NHS chaplaincy service in West and South Yorkshire (SW Yorkshire NHS Partnership Trust). With over 20 years involvement in chaplaincy, Mike leads a team which includes Christian and Muslim chaplains, pastoral counsellors, educators, an administrator and volunteer co-ordinators. A recently developed, lay chaplain training programme has recruited and trained a cohort of volunteer chaplain, who are now active across the area served by the Trust. This covers the metropolitan areas of Wakefield, Barnsley, Calderdale and Kirklees, with a population of approximately 1.25 million.
A recent initiative developed by the chaplaincy service “Spirit in Mind” has charitable status and exists to promote joint working between the NHS and faith communities. It works particularly to help faith communities in developing projects which support mental health needs of their members and local communities.
The Pastoral & Spiritual Care Service at SWYPT is available to all users, staff and relatives regardless of whether or not they have a faith background or involvement. “We offer a person-centered approach to supporting people at all times,” says Mike, “especially when they are dealing with difficult and challenging circumstances. We encourage people to work with their own value and belief systems to find hope, healing and spiritual wellbeing”.
“It’s a wonderful and ceaselessly challenging sphere of Ministry” says Mike. “Spiritual care involves many things, but the heart searches for meaning and purpose & that impacts many areas of life. It can have a positive influence on our sense of wellbeing & emotional resilience. It has a large part to play in helping people develop and mature. Within the larger organization, pastoral and spiritual care has an important role to play in staff wellbeing through the presence of ward based support, counselling, training and residential therapeutic retreats”.
Mike writes: “In a rapidly changing area of healthcare, mental health chaplaincy plays a very special role in promoting holistic approach, which recognises an interrelatedness of body, mind and spirit. It is a vital and very necessary area of ministry and one which, in many instances, is central to a patient’s recovery pathway”.