In the last month I attended a webinar on risk management, and I really liked the quote that heads my message this month. This is certainly not an accusation that could be levelled at SHA! As you will see in this newsletter there continues to be a lot happening as we invest time, energy and money in opportunities to change how spiritual care is understood, valued and integrated into healthcare.
One such opportunity has occurred in the mental health space as Jenny Greenham, our Mental Health Leader, and I have met with political and Department of Health leaders to advocate for spiritual care. The mental health reform agenda has a strong focus on wellbeing, and we have been able to make the connection with spirituality, inspired by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recognition of spiritual health as one of the four dimensions of wellbeing in The Geneva Charter for Well-Being. One of the Department leaders in drawing on the wisdom of our First Nations people, reflected on the need for society to be on a journey beyond the individual recognising that “I can’t have wellbeing without other people”. This was an encouraging and hopeful moment, perfect for Harmony Week, and acknowledging connection that we know is a fundamental aspect of spirituality.
Making connections sometimes requires stepping outside of our comfort zones, being vulnerable and real with others. So, it is not just organisations needing to take risks. We all face moments where we can choose to take the risk, to go beyond the familiar, to try something new. These can be moments with potential for growth and learning, whatever the outcome may be. Taking risks may just be essential for the spiritual journey.
Finally, I am pleased to be representing SHA at the Health Sector Summit hosted by the Department of Health next week. I look forward to participating in important conversations about the 10-year vision for Victoria’s public health sector and being the voice for spiritual care at this important event.
Cheryl Holmes, CEO