Pressures mount on spiritual care during Covid-19

The impact of the second wave of Covid-19 cases in Victoria, and its overall impact on health services, were discussed at a recent Spiritual Care Management Network (SCMN) meeting.

The impact of the second wave of Covid-19 cases in Victoria, and its overall impact on health services, were discussed at our Spiritual Care Management Network (SCMN) meeting on 11 August. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the SCMN has convened fortnightly via Zoom to support spiritual care managers in the health services to cope with the increasing demand for spiritual care.

We joined 21 spiritual care practitioners, representing Victoria and Queensland, to discuss pressing items which included:

  • exceptionally high levels of spiritual care referrals, especially for end of life care. SHA’s Guidelines for Quality Spiritual Care in Health  are a useful reference.  
  • providing spiritual care services via Telehealth, when face-to-face contact is limited. SHA’s Telehealth Guidelines are a useful support. 
  • ways to prioritise and support the wellbeing of health services’ staff, who are under increased pressure and stress. Spiritual Care staff are contributing to Wellbeing hubs and providing face to face and remote support to staff.  Our Covid-19 page offers the latest information and helpful resources.  
  • how external faith visitors are providing support, according to government regulations and their own faith guidelines which have been updated to reflect Stage 4 restrictions.  

A network to strengthen relationships nationally, the SCMN also allows members to share news, information, innovative approaches and wisdom on providing spiritual care in health settings.  

If you are a spiritual care manager in Australia, and wish to join the network, please contact Christine Hennequin at development@spiritualhealth.org.au.