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Province launches spiritual health care plan 0

By Robin Dudgeon, Portage Daily Graphic

The Province of Manitoba released a spiritual healthcare strategic plan on Thursday that is the first of its kind in Canada. The plan recognizes the overall importance of spiritual wellbeing in overall health seeks to implement a four-year working plan across the province. (from www.gov.mb.ca)

The Province of Manitoba released a spiritual healthcare strategic plan on Thursday that is the first of its kind in Canada. The plan recognizes the overall importance of spiritual wellbeing in overall health seeks to implement a four-year working plan across the province. (from www.gov.mb.ca)

The Province of Manitoba released a spiritual health care strategic plan called Health and the Human Spirit on Thursday during the opening of the Hospice & Palliative Care Manitoba conference.

"Our new four-year strategic plan, the first of its kind in Canada, enhances awareness and gives direction for spiritual health care in Manitoba," said Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs minister Jim Rondeau. "It will promote opportunities for Manitobans to experience spiritual health through through better awareness, understanding, and healing."

The plan was developed via a strategic planning session attended by community and professional stakeholders, spiritual care providers, volunteers, counsellors, physicians, psychiatrists, policy analysts, and those who have experienced spiritual care in a health care context.

Research has shown that higher levels of spiritual wellbeing, along with a sense of meaning and inner peace, are associated with better health outcomes, lower levels of depression and anxiety, and a better quality of life.

The Province now has seven spiritual health care coordinators to help patients and families get supports, a provincial spiritual health care coordinator, as well as legislation that protects the role of faith-based organizations in our health care system.

A four year work plan is currently being developed to implement the spiritual health care plan. It will build on the existing structure in the field, create a spiritual health care volunteer education course called The Spirit of Caring, as well as incorporate traditional Aboriginal healing spaces into health care facilities across the province.

See the strategic plan at www.gov.mb.ca/healthyliving/mh/hhs.html.

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