Welcome to SHA’s first newsletter for 2022.
It feels a little late in the piece to be extending new year’s greetings as we near the end of summer and edge towards the start of March. In the midst of what has been a demanding and challenging beginning for many people, the team at SHA join me in expressing our gratitude to all who work in the health care sector. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to care.
The current state of the nation was aptly summed up in the title of an article that appeared in The Age on January 26th, “Australia has a wellbeing problem”. The World Health Organisation defined the four dimensions of wellbeing as physical, social, mental and spiritual health (The Geneva Charter 2021). Of these, it is the spiritual that so often remains unaddressed.
Recent research commissioned by SHA and undertaken by McCrindle has demonstrated Australians believe that spirituality is connected to mental, relational (social) and physical wellbeing. Further, this research revealed that one in two Australians (54%) would be interested in receiving spiritual care in the future. We are in the planning stages for the launch of this report, The Future of Spiritual Care in Australia: A national study on spirituality, wellbeing and spiritual care in hospitals, and we are excited to share these findings with you.
It is beyond time for this dimension of health and wellbeing to be taken seriously and therefore SHA has issued a call to action to Make Health Care Whole. As Australia prepares for a federal election, we are calling on the Government to invest in spiritual care. Please join us in sharing this message wherever you are able.
As we put forward this Call to Action, I am mindful that tending to our spiritual health often needs less action. I quickly googled the opposite of action, and this is what was listed: calm, serenity, stillness, tranquility, peace…. In the year ahead may we know when there is the need for action, and when there is the need for calm. Tending to our spiritual health may just be one of the most important answers to Australia’s wellbeing problem.