Reviews of the WELLHEAD Toolkit

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“I have followed Kath Mumby's development of her ideas into research then onto this most valuable resource for helping people with aphasia address issues of spiritual development. I heartily recommend WELLHEAD as a well-planned, practical, stepwise resource, which should help participants set and achieve goals to improve their quality of life.”

John W. Fisher MSc, MEd, PhD, EdD, PhD, (Hon. Associate Professor, Federation University Australia; Hon. Senior Fellow, Dept of Rural Health, University of Melbourne)

“It was a privilege to be part of the original WELLHEAD research project and resultant published paper. From a Chaplaincy perspective, spirituality in its simplest form is about whatever gives a person meaning, value and purpose in life. Communication is key to providing spiritual care and this is particularly challenging when the patient or client has impaired communication skills. I believe that the WELLHEAD toolkit designed by Dr Mumby is an extremely valuable resource for aiding the communication process and giving individuals the dignity to express their personal feelings, and receive in return often-needed spiritual support.”

Revd David Grace CA, DipMin, Dip.Evg, Cert.PallCare, Cert.Couns.Skills (Retired Chaplain: Reg. UK Board of Healthcare Chaplaincy; Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains; College of Health Care Chaplains)

“We all need to be heard and understood. Sometimes, however, this communication can be disrupted by a lack of literacy skills. As a retired Adult Literacy teacher, I recognise the significant contribution that the WELLHEAD Toolkit offers for facilitating communication. The Toolkit provides a unique opportunity as it simplifies access to exploring spiritual growth. Having also worked as a registered nurse for twenty years, I can see the potential for using the WELLHEAD Toolkit in a variety of health settings: it feels like a key that will open many doors.”

Judy Wincott, RGN, RM (retired). Cert Ed.

“I came across the WELLHEAD Toolkit during Masters research which examined the role of religion in welfare provision in the UK. I believe there is great potential for the WELLHEAD Toolkit to be adapted for use with survivors of domestic violence as an outcome driven, collaborative approach to spiritual and religious needs which empowers the individual whilst avoiding unrealistic dependence on religious literacy on the part of the practitioner. I hope to explore this potential further in my current research into the impact of faith on domestic abuse survivors. ”

Vanessa Read (Doctoral researcher, Centre of Gender and Violence Research, University of Bristol)

“The WELLHEAD Toolkit has potential for use by a variety of professionals and those in supporting roles. In Relationship Education it may be used with those who are feeling confused or disillusioned through their relationships, and who want to consider their views, feelings and beliefs to become stronger in their own identity. The Toolkit doesn’t teach about religion, rather, it allows for exploration of the client’s individual thoughts, and development of spirituality, therefore it is suitable for a wide range of participants. This exploratory approach will give clients tools to consider the place that spirituality plays in their relationships as well. This product has been developed through co-research and evaluation by the author, who has considerable academic experience, along with other experienced researchers.”

Vivien Southall, BEd, MA(Ed) (Vivien has worked in Education for many years both as a teacher and a Lecturer in Education and is presently a Relationship Educator with Mid Devon Community Family Trust alongside studying for an Educational Doctorate researching autism within long term couple relationships)

"All professionals working in health and social care are responsible and accountable for delivery of evidence-based practice. For over 20 years my teaching and research has focused on strategic approaches to promote and embed evidence-based decision-making, as well as values-based care that is authentically focused on the priorities of the individuals we work with, their families and carers. The WELLHEAD Toolkit is a unique and highly important resource to guide sensitive conversations with individuals, particularly at times when they are facing life-changing circumstances. I’ve been very impressed to see the development of WELLHEAD and am very proud to have played a small role in the validation of the acceptability and accessibility of this resource for people with communication difficulties. And now I’m delighted to recommend this Toolkit and look forward to watching the future uptake of its use across many settings and contexts."

Dr Hazel Roddam PhD, MA, BSc Hons, FRCSLT, FHEA (Independent Consultancy for research and evaluation in Allied Health Practice; Fellow of Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT); Former Chair of RCSLT (2010- 2012); Associate Member of Hochschule fur Gesundheit Bochum, Germany; Director of Research Support Network ReSNetSLT)

"In my thirty plus years of working in the NHS as a clinician and leader, spiritual wellbeing has always scored low in audits in hospital and hospice settings. The WELLHEAD resources and manual are so well designed for this new world of health delivery. Loneliness and isolation have been thematic for so many amidst COVID: this toolkit will enable supportive interventions for clients and clinicians, key to mental and physical wellbeing. In my second career in counselling, it is heart-warming to see resources like this being used at grass roots where they can impact on wellness."

Annie Ford BACP Accredited Counsellor, EMDR Therapist and Supervisor

"The philosopher Wittgenstein once said, "The limits of my language are the limits of my world". Conversations about spirituality have the potential to grow and extend our little worlds in many different directions, but are often limited by our ability to express ourselves. The WELLHEAD Toolkit goes some way to addressing this issue by offering a range of expressive techniques that can be used to start fertile and reflective interactions. WELLHEAD was originally developed for use with people who have some degree of aphasia; but in an age when our traditional religious language and vocabulary is disappearing it may provide rich resources for a wide range of individuals and groups."

Dr Peter Kevern, PhD, BD, BSc (Professor of Values in Health and Social Care, Staffordshire University)

"WELLHEAD offers an exciting and timely response to the important and yet much neglected need within healthcare as well as other contexts to attend to people's spiritual and holistic care. It provides a comprehensive, inclusive and accessible framework for exploring this dimension, whatever the individual's personal beliefs or life experiences. This framework includes interesting use of imagery to promote conversation and personal reflection and supports both practitioner and client in smoothly navigating what can sometimes seem like a complex area to work with. It is a tool which may illuminate points of current personal difficulty, personal growth, healing and core values and in so doing could help support the recovery process."

Katja Milner, ESRC Doctoral Researcher (Spirituality and Mental health), University of Nottingham, Former NHS Spirituality Lead

"Facilitating and supporting people so they can express their spirituality (without being exclusive to any particular faith) may seem an essential priority to many, but it has not been, in my experience. I have not found it within the assessment frameworks I have used as a mental health occupational therapist, a tutor for Health and Social Care and when teaching counselling. At last the WELLHEAD Toolkit has been developed - a much-needed resource which could have wide application."

Liz Rayner MSc (Rehabilitation Counselling); DipCOT

"Looking at what is being offered in the WELLHEAD Toolkit from the perspective of someone who might be suffering bereavement or early dementia or aphasia, would I want to work with a professional using these resources?….The answer would most definitely be “Yes!” There is a deeply respectful approach to the way in which spirituality is expressed and can be developed. The Toolkit provides a very helpful framework for the whole process - not just in the genius of the phrasing of the questions, but also in the attention to interpreting body language and suggesting how to ease participants into self-expression through the choice of word and picture resources. For any health professional or counsellor or chaplain helping adults with life-changing medical problems or bereavement, these materials are going to be invaluable!"

Juliette Makepeace MA(Oxon), Head of Department for Religious Education with SMSC (spiritual,  moral, social, and cultural development) and pastoral responsibilities (retired)

"The pandemic has revealed the fragility of our lives, our need to connect with others and the importance of both hope and a belief system if we are to survive. Mental health practitioners are overwhelmed by the number of people seeking their help. When I first used the WELLHEAD Toolkit, it seemed daunting, but following Kath’s beautifully crafted questions and pictures as prompts, my own exploration and that of my client brought up dark and difficult times which we needed to acknowledge. Our thought processes shifted, and precious gems of forgiveness, hope, wisdom and love began to emerge.

The WELLHEAD Toolkit is unique: a gentle yet empowering means of assessing a person’s emotional and spiritual well-being and allowing the client to be at the centre of their own care. When you use WELLHEAD, changes and realisations can be unexpected. In the case of ‘Erica’ I am reminded of ‘The Bright Field’ by wartime poet R S Thomas: ‘I have seen the sun break through to illuminate a small field for a while and gone on my way and forgotten it’. The WELLHEAD Toolkit could enable you and your clients to find that ‘Pearl of great price’ and it’s associated ‘brightness’. I wish you joy in the finding!

Sue Rivett MA (Music Therapy), LTCL. Sue has worked as a music therapist in Devon since 2014. She currently works within the Devon Partnership NHS Trust with elderly in-patients living with mental health issues.

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