Pastoral Care for Mental Health In-patients: an area of concern for Christian Churches in the Southampton Area, UK
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The challenge of meeting the spiritual needs of psychiatric patients is a pressing concern whilst western societies are increasingly characterised by secularism and the decline of organised religion. Drawing on the findings about the current level of pastoral care provision in churches as well as the biblical perspective of pastoral care, the study introduces and discusses a framework for pastoral care provision for mental health patients by Christian churches. Structured interviews of church leaders and a survey of Christian health workers were conducted to examine the present provision of pastoral care for mental health patients in Southampton. The framework can serve as a guideline to improve the efficacy and quality of pastoral care provision for mental health patients. The findings indicate that there is minimal provision made by churches for pastoral care for mental health patients. This study sought to bridge this gap by focusing on pastoral care provision for mental health patients in Southampton. Finally, the study offers recommendations to improve pastoral care provision.
- Theology