Bendigo Health joins Spiritual Health Association

Spiritual Health Association

Spiritual Health Association (formerly Spiritual Care Australia) welcomed Bendigo Health who became the newest member of Spiritual Health Association in August 2020.

Spiritual Health Association is the peak body whose purpose is to advance health through advocacy for and promotion of compassionate person-centred spiritual care in health services. We collaborate with health services to expand the availability and accessibility of spiritual care within Australia through advocacy, leadership, research, support and development.

Bendigo Health are the first health service to take up the opportunity for membership of Spiritual Health Association, which became possible following our transition from Spiritual Care Australia to Spiritual Health Association in July last year. The move represents a significant change to Spiritual Health Australia’s membership, which has only been open to faith communities of Victoria in the past.

When the pandemic hit, services that relied on a volunteer base and/or external providers were severely impacted, and the need for high-quality spiritual care services delivered by qualified and credentialled spiritual care practitioners became ever more apparent.

Spiritual Health Association CEO Cheryl Holmes said, “It is clear that we need models for spiritual care that are sustainable for the future and capable of providing the patient, carer and staff support that has been required over these past months. It is time for all stakeholders to work together to co-design and co-create these models. Spiritual Health Association has the expertise and capacity to facilitate this collaboration.”

Ms Kāren Lunney, Bendigo Health’s Manager of Pastoral Care, was appreciative of the support Spiritual Health Association offers members.

“SHA welcomed us as part of a network, providing resources and opportunities for in-service and connection with peers. I greatly appreciate their advocacy, consultative practices, openness, research, regular updates and ongoing support. Being a member means Bendigo Health plays a part in continuing this support for many others in spiritual health,” Kāren said.

Spiritual Health Association invites all eligible health services and organisations to join us as we advocate for the development, funding and integration of evidence-based spiritual care as a key component for delivering compassionate, person-centred health care.


Spiritual Health Association


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