Why SHA’s Funding Crisis Affects Spiritual Care in Australia

25 January 2024

Spiritual Health Association’s funding from the Victorian Government will cease on June 30, 2024. Though SHA is based in Victoria, we advocate for the advancement of spiritual care and collaborate extensively with health services and spiritual care teams throughout Australia to set standards and integrate best-practice spiritual care within allied health teams. Our work ensures that the spiritual needs of patients are addressed as a key component of holistic, person-centred care.

For 50 years, SHA has been at the forefront of transforming spiritual care in health, evolving from traditional Christian chaplaincy and pastoral care to multi-faith religious models, and now pioneering inclusive spiritual care that serves individuals of all faiths and worldviews.

Our latest strategic initiative is the pilot of The National Model for Spiritual Care in Health, which has been developed through an engagement process that involved a broad range of stakeholders in the co-design of a consistent spiritual care model. The National Model was developed in response to a lack of a consistent approach to spiritual care governance and provision in the health sector, which can be detrimental to patient safety and recovery. After evaluations, our vision is for the National Model to be rolled out across the country, so that everyone can have equal access to safe, quality, inclusive and consistent spiritual care in their health services.

What does safe, quality, inclusive and consistent spiritual care entail?

1. Safe spiritual care is provided by a trauma-informed and credentialed workforce.

2. Quality spiritual care is built upon evidence-based practices for most effective support.

3. Inclusive spiritual care is culturally competent and respectful of diverse worldviews.

4. Consistent spiritual care ensures accessibility to the same standard of spiritual care regardless of health service/ location.

SHA’s role is pivotal in defining how spiritual care is delivered and experienced throughout the country. As innovators and global leaders on the ground, we are actively shaping the landscape, and there is no other organisation that does what we do. Largely due to SHA’s efforts, spiritual care in Australia has evolved significantly. Our imprint is evident in the operations of many spiritual care departments across numerous hospitals, and how they provide holistic, person-centred spiritual care to patients. 

SHA is actively advocating for our continued funding, and your support is crucial. Stay informed and lend your voice to our cause by following us on LinkedIn, X (Twitter), Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates. Be sure to visit our campaign page too, where we’ll be regularly updating new ways for you to get involved.