Mental Health Chaplaincy

02/10/2013 6:15 pm

Julia Head, Mental Health Chaplaincy Team Leader

Julia Head

In this podcast we speak to Julia Head. Julia's a Mental Health Chaplaincy team leader in a busy London hospital that provides in-patient and community mental health care.

Mental Health chaplains look after the spiritual, religious and faith-based needs of patients and service users.

"Spiritual distress is often shown in a struggle to find meaning in one’s life. We discern what is happening in the individual’s life and work sensitively with that." 

"We are a multi-faith team and receive referrals from psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, professionals from across the spectrum of mental health care. Very often people don’t want to talk to somebody from their own faith and we can cater for that. Sometimes it may be a question of just sitting with someone who is so disturbed they can’t even talk about the issues."

To counter the stigma attached to people experiencing mental health challenges, it's important to remember to be inclusive and understanding:

"Those with mental health problems like to laugh and enjoy life, they have the same desires as anybody else in life. There can be a lot of fun in mental health work."

There are also lessons to be learnt for practitioners:

"A spirit of openness and love helps mental health practitioners to learn so much about themselves, it’s important to have self-reflective practice, and in this way to continue to learn and to change and grow in an understanding of the challenges the individual is dealing with." 


You can listen to or download the podcast by using the player and link in the top right-hand corner of the page.

Duration: 11m 32s


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The music used in this podcast is 'The Moments of Our Mornings' by Kai Engel.


Julia Head

Julia Head is a highly experienced Mental Health Chaplaincy Team Leader.   julia-head-mental-health.mp3 9.68 MB