October e-News

International Spiritual Care Week - Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research


I want to begin this newsletter by acknowledging with gratitude all of the spiritual care practitioners who continue to support the health care sector through these challenging days. Spiritual Care Week is a great opportunity to celebrate our spiritual care workforce, and to raise awareness of the contribution spiritual care makes to peoples’ health and wellbeing. 

To take hold of this opportunity, SHA distributed our What is Spirituality? What is Spiritual Care? poster series to the Spiritual Care Management Network in time for Spiritual Care Week and showcased them at our recent AGM. These posters embrace the Spiritual Care Week theme of Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research and highlight international research as well as research undertaken by SHA. You can read more about these resources below. 

The SHA Annual General Meeting was held on 18th October with sixty-two people in attendance. I was thrilled to present our new look annual report. Two new Directors were elected, and I am so pleased to welcome Nick White (official representative for the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne) and Debra O’Connor (official representative for the National Ageing Research Institute) to the Board and look forward to working with them in the coming months. 

Following the AGM our speakers Dr Eric Levi and Dr Jane Munro spoke on the theme of health care worker wellbeing, acknowledging that through the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, people’s physical, mental and spiritual health can suffer. Dr Levi described spiritual care practitioners as the ones who can sit in the rubble with people “and bring their broken pieces together” like “mosaic artists”. Such a beautiful image and description of spiritual care.

The presentations were followed by the launch of our latest publication, The Little Book of Spiritual Health. In the launch Dr Levi described the book as “deeply unsettling in a powerful way because it got me thinking about my own self-care in a new way.” This is a book designed to introduce the concept of spiritual health as a deeper way to know and take care of ourselves. It is our hope that it will become a significant resource in supporting our health workforce. You can find out more about this resource below. 

This week we celebrate the contribution of spiritual care to health care. Thank you again to all of you who, as mosaic artists, sit with people in their brokenness and allow the creative process to unfold. And please attend to your own physical, mental and spiritual health along the way. We need to model the self-care we encourage in others.

Cheryl Holmes, CEO

Read our October eNews.