I write this on the 16th March, the day that marks one year since the team at SHA began to work from home. It is hard to believe a year has gone past and just how much has changed in that space of time.
Last weekend I had an opportunity to be on my own for a few days and push the pause button, to slow down and create some stillness for the many whirling stories, pieces of information and constant input from multiple sources to settle and quieten. Taking time to pause and listen deeply to what’s inside is so important and yet can be so hard to do.
The information and stories are endless and over these last weeks and months they have been heavy. Stories from people in aged care and with lived experience of mental health demand transformation of systems that are unable to provide the levels of support and care that are needed. As you will read below, we are heartened to see in the final report from the Royal Commission into the Mental Health System that attention to the spiritual dimension of people is included. More recently we have heard stories from women in parliament joining the stories of women everywhere demanding change. In so many places there is a line in the sand being drawn, enough.
What of the spiritual care landscape? Is there a line in the sand to be drawn? Where will that line be? Our deliberations over these last months through our strategic planning raises these question as we continue to work towards a nationally consistent approach to spiritual care. As always, we need to know what matters to patients, carers and staff. We need to listen deeply and sometimes that listening needs to begin with taking a pause ourselves.