Tuesday, 23 April 2024
Tuesday, 23 April 2024

Charitable donations fund counsellor to offer psychological support for families

Thanks to donations to Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, a family counsellor has been appointed to the Paediatric Palliative Care Team.

A two-year pilot project is providing a new family counsellor to promote the well-being of children and young people living with a life-limiting or life-threatening diagnosis, and their families, and give them emotional support.

The palliative care team said that the family counsellor will be a huge benefit, providing improvements to the overall patient and family experience across the three counties of Hywel Dda, in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Rebecca Mcdonald, Paediatric Palliative Care Nurse, said:

Six months into this transformational project, we are already seeing direct benefits and huge improvements to the emotional and psychological health and wellbeing of our children and their families living with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition in Hywel Dda through individual, family and group counselling work.

“Having the family counsellor embedded in our team has been beneficial to improving care delivery to these children and families. The support being offered is improving resilience and empowering them as individuals, giving them the tools to enhance and support their coping mechanisms around anticipatory grief and bereavement. We are excited to see how this project develops and progresses as it is clear at this early stage it is having such a positive impact.”

The team said that throughout a child or young person’s illness, the patient, parents, siblings, or carers may experience relationship difficulties, anxiety, and mental health issues.

A family counsellor is able to put in place preventative measures which can enhance their coping skills and promote resilience and quality of life.

The family counsellor will work alongside the Paediatric Palliative Care Play Specialist to enhance the delivery of care, either within the home, virtually, or by linking into community services such as social care and education.

There has already been great feedback from service users. One said:

“The family counsellor has been crucial in the aftermath of losing my son. Having constant and regular appointments has been helpful. I am so thankful this service is available to me.”

Another added: “The family counsellor is easy to talk to and provided a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss all the issues surrounding palliative care and the effect that this has on our family life.”

Nicola Llewelyn, Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said:

“The support of our local communities enables us to provide services over and above what the NHS can provide in the three counties of Hywel Dda and we are extremely grateful for every donation we receive.”

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