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Future Direction of Spiritual Health Services at St.Amant

Future Direction of Spiritual Health Services at St.Amant

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Because of you, we raised an incredible $175,000 at the Free the Spirit Festival! Your enthusiasm for quality care for people with developmental disabilities and autism is contagious, and because you inspired your friends and family to give, we achieved one of our most successful festivals ever!

From raising pledges to buying lottery tickets, your support has not gone unnoticed. We owe you a big THANK YOU for ensuring people supported by St.Amant have meaningful opportunities.

We are excited to say that your generous support means more personalized equipment such as specialized wheelchairs and bicycles; more communication devices like iPads and DynaVoxes; more recreational outings to places like the zoo or a Winnipeg Jets game; more opportunities such as the St.Amant Leisure Guide or FM Café; and most importantly, it means more chances for friendship and inclusion.

Here are just some of the highlights from this year’s Free the Spirit Festival:

  • Over 300 people joined us in the 2km walk!
  • 103 runners took the challenge of completing the first ever Free the Spirit 5k.
  • One lucky winner, Marilet Dalde-Bjarnason, took home the $10,000 lottery prize.
  • Visit our photo gallery on Facebook

With much appreciation,

Juliette Mucha
Director, St.Amant Foundation

P.S. Mark your calendars for next year on September 29th!

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Festival Sponsor images sep 21


Over the course of the past year, St.Amant reviewed its Spiritual Care Services and consulted with other health and social service organizations to look at how they are offering similar services. We also spoke with a number of families and invited staff to offer input and feedback.

The review was influenced by an understanding that each person’s spirituality has three main dimensions(i). Those are the need to:

  • Make personal meaning;
  • Come to an understanding of self; and
  • Appreciate the need and value of connections with others

Spiritual Care Services will now be called Spiritual Health Services. The mandate will not change: to meet the spiritual needs of the people we support. Moving forward, however, a significant part of the Spiritual Health professional’s role will be to empower all staff to enhance the spiritual health of the people we support. We can all contribute to a person’s spiritual health.

We know that loneliness is all too often a reality for the people we support. That is why there will be a special focus on introducing people to organizations and activities in the community that could nourish the spirit and create a sense of belonging. Those activities could include attending a sweat lodge or a church service or practicing yoga.

The review led to a number of recommendations that can be grouped into four key themes: Tradition, Innovation, Inclusion, and Shared Responsibility.

Tradition

St.Amant recognizes the importance of maintaining and building upon the existing Catholic, Indigenous, and other spiritual services offered to people supported by St.Amant and their support networks. St.Amant reaffirms a commitment to support long-standing and highly valued services, including Mass, prayer groups, and Friends Sharing Faith. St.Amant also reaffirms a commitment to offering Indigenous ceremonies, under the direction of an Elder. Spiritual Health Services will continue to support staff and play a key role in end of life discussions with families.

The review reflects the importance of existing services, and recommends increasing and improving service to people of all faiths and backgrounds. In particular, the review looked at the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and is committed to strengthening and expanding the services available to Indigenous peoples.

Innovation

St.Amant will adopt the term Spiritual Health because of its emphasis on wellness and a broad understanding of spirituality. There is recognition that spirituality and spiritual health can be expressed and explored through religion and in many other ways. Some of those could include mindfulness or time in nature. St.Amant supports a person-centered view of spiritual health and commits to supporting people as they explore the full spectrum of potential spiritual health opportunities.

Inclusion

A goal for St.Amant and the disability movement is to ensure that all people are included as they wish in their community. Through new or revitalized community connections, we look forward to more opportunities for people supported by St.Amant to experience a sense of belonging. As well, through our words and actions, we want to reinforce the inclusive and welcoming nature of spiritual health service throughout the organization.

Shared Responsibility

Every staff member and volunteer has a responsibility to contribute to the spiritual health of the people they support and to the organization as a whole. The spiritual health professional’s new mandate will include much more education and training for staff. Staff will come to better understand how their work can influence the spiritual health of a person.

Staffing

We are planning to recruit a minimum of one full-time staff person into Spiritual Health Services. This position will be complemented through increased connections to community faith groups and through skilled and passionate volunteers.

The Review and its recommendations were accepted by the Executive. The new position will be created and posted later this summer. Recommendations will be implemented beginning over the next few months.

If there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact BenAdaman at 204.256.4301 ext. 3339 or badaman@stamant.ca.

[1] Manitoba Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs. (2012). Health and the human spirit: Shaping the direction of spiritual health care in Manitoba: spiritual health care strategic plan. Retrieved from https://www.gov.mb.ca/healthyliving/mh/docs/health_human_spirit.pdf

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