Health Minister Adrian Dix has issued the following statement regarding the proclamation of Spiritual Health Care Week in British Columbia, Oct. 16-22, 2017:
“British Columbia is one of the most ethnically diverse provinces in Canada and this rich multicultural society is what helps us nurture inclusiveness, understanding and mutual respect.
“This week, British Columbians of all faiths and philosophical views are encouraged to recognize the importance of having a public health system in B.C. that works to integrate their spiritual, social and emotional needs into the patient-centred care they receive.
“When faced with illness, injury and loss, spiritual care is there to help people as they make life transitions and cope with health challenges. This type of care can provide emotional support and opportunities for patients, families and health-care providers to express themselves and connect to the values and traditions that give them comfort and strength.
“Spirituality and seeking meaning and purpose in life is natural. We know that providing care to the whole person – not just the physical body – can decrease feelings of anxiety and depression, and help people achieve better health outcomes more quickly. This also applies to health-care providers and it is important for them to have their spiritual needs met, while attending to the needs of others.
“Throughout the province, B.C.’s spiritual health professionals are working to care for people on a deeper level and support them in the ways in which they find meaning, such as through cultural ceremonies, nature outings and prayer. Many health-care facilities offer sacred spaces, indoors and outdoors, for conducting group or individual spiritual observances.
“Recognizing the connection between people’s spiritual well-being and their overall wellness, health-care settings in B.C. communities are embracing the diversity within spiritual health and acknowledging the role it has in caring for all British Columbians.”