During Mental Health Awareness Week, Revd Jeremy Law, Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Coordinator at the Greater Manchester Mental Health (GMMH) NHS Foundation Trust, reflects on the impact that the coronavirus emergency has had on the mental health chaplaincy there.
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He describes that “the impact of COVID-19 on people’s mental health and wellbeing has been enormous” and expects its effects to “continue for a long time.”

Staff at GMMH have been caring for people at the end of life with dedication and professionalism” he says and “the effect of loved ones not being allowed to visit service users and accompany the dying has had a profound effect, both on relatives and staff.”

To help hospital staff deal with their emotional and spiritual needs, the chaplaincy team is planning to hold memorial services that staff are welcome to attend, with ongoing support.

GMMH provides community-based and inpatient mental health care and treatment to a population of 1.2 million people living in Bolton, Salford, Trafford and Manchester. As one of the most active research trusts in the UK, with one of the highest levels of recruitment to clinical trials for mental health, it is at the leading edge of new mental health treatments.

Through the current crisis faced, Jeremy highlights that GMMH “has demonstrated greater recognition of the spiritual needs of both service users and staff.”

“New opportunities have arisen on ethics forums and open staff forums to identify spiritual questions and point staff and service users to the Chaplaincy team.

“The Chaplaincy team has long recognised the spiritual compliment to caring for the body and the mind. For the Trust to so openly recognise the spiritual needs of all is significant."

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Source URL: https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/stories-and-features/mental-health-hospital-chaplains-view