NHS Trust highlighting importance of spirituality this World Religion Day


The local provider of mental health and learning disability services has highlighted the importance of spirituality in healthcare on World Religion Day, Sunday 16th January.

The South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust recognises that spiritual support can be very useful to people who use its services and their carers at what is often a difficult time in their lives. One example of where this support has proved vital is at Newton Lodge, Wakefield, where a multi-faith room has been established.

The Sanctuary as it is known due to it been a space of peace and harmony, offers service users at Newton Lodge a tranquil place where they can go to have quiet time alone or take part in spiritual activities such as meditation, prayer and religious services.

Patients helped with the planning and design of the multi-faith room, including assisting with the design of stained glass style artwork. A large piece of Labradorite rock has been made the centrepiece like at the UN headquarters in New York, which acts as a unifying symbol for all the cultures, ethnicities and religions of people who use the facility.

Chan Chanpakkee, a practitioner lecturer at Newton lodge, said, “It is hard to overestimate the value of this project. It not only provides a much needed tranquil space for patients and staff, but because of its inclusivity it is a powerful symbol of unity for service users from different cultural and religious backgrounds.”

The success of the project has already been recognised after it was nominated for the ‘Partnership working award’ at the Trust’s 2010 Excellence awards, which are designed to recognise excellent practice of Trust staff and partnership work.

The project has been supported by staff at Newton lodge and the Trust’s spiritual and pastoral care team, which provides support, guidance and worship opportunities for patients, carers and staff, regardless of religious belief.

Rev. Mike Gartland, said; "Spiritual care can help people make the best use of all their personal and spiritual resources in facing and coping with the doubts, anxieties and questions which can arise in a health care setting or when they are ill. This multi-faith room is a great example of how the Trust is working to support all beliefs and this World Religion Day emphasised the importance of fostering harmony and interfaith understanding between different religions."

World Religion Day is designed to bring all faiths together to increase cross-cultural understanding and to strengthen mutual respect for all religions. You can find out more online at www.worldreligionday.org

For further information about Trust services contact the customer services team on 0800 587 2108, email customer.services@swyt.nhs.uk or visit the Trust’s website www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk

NHS Trust highlighting importance of spirituality this World Religion Day

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