This year Spiritual Care Week is 22nd – 28th October 2023 coincides with a number of other major events, Mental Health Month, Mental Health Day and the ACCPA Conference week, so we’re excited to be celebrating the theme with our member organisations. And excited to be celebrating Spiritual Care Week with partner organisations Spiritual Health Association and Mental Health Australia.
Theme for 2023
Each year, a new theme is introduced, which acts as a focal point for the week’s activities. The theme for the year 2023, ‘Spiritual health is central to mental wellbeing’, highlights the relationship between spirituality and mental health. Focussing on a person’s spiritual worldview can significantly impact their mental wellbeing and encourages collaboration between spiritual care professionals and mental health colleagues.
Theme Interpretation: The theme interpretation for 2023 underscores the interconnectedness of spirituality and mental health. It encourages professionals in both fields to work closely together to address various issues, including the effects of the pandemic, self-care, family and couples counselling, grief support, multicultural counselling, addiction, trauma recovery, and end-of-life care.
‘At this time of reform in our sector, it is important to remember self care, to be able to value ourselves to take the oxygen mask first in order to serve the needs of our teams and older people we care for and about. Leaders in the sector know that spiritual care practitioners enhance multidisciplinary teams by upholding the significance of cultural and spiritual diversity in health and aged care. So this month, I hope all aged care providers and affiliates take up the opportunity to celebrate spiritual care practitioners and show how they fill their own cup and what fuels their spirit.’Rachael Wass, CEO Meaningful Ageing Australia
Downloads for Aged Care Providers and Affiliates!
Overall, Spiritual Care Week serves as a platform for professionals to come together, share their experiences, and promote the holistic wellbeing of individuals by emphasising the importance of spiritual and emotional support in conjunction with mental health care.
With that in mind we’ve created a pack of social tiles you can download and use for your aged care or associated organisation in celebrating the week with Meaningful Ageing Australia and Spiritual Health Association! There’s a Zoom background, email tile, several social tiles for LinkedIn and Facebook.
Key Points about SC Week 2023:
- Celebrating Spiritual Care Professionals: It offers a platform to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of chaplains, pastoral care counsellors, psychologists, wellbeing officers, educators, aged care providers, and volunteers who provide spiritual care and emotional support to individuals in various settings.
- Promoting Emotional Wellbeing: It focuses on promoting good emotional wellbeing and diversity, particularly among older people. This highlights the importance of emotional and psychological support, especially for vulnerable populations.
- Honouring Practitioners: It provides an opportunity to honour and celebrate the efforts of all practitioners of spiritual care and mental health and relationship counsellors who play a crucial role in improving the overall wellbeing of older people.
- Acknowledging Organisations: The week also allows for the expression of gratitude and appreciation towards organisations that provide emotional wellbeing and spiritual care services, recognising their valuable contributions.
- Showcasing Member Aged Care Providers: It serves as a platform to publicise the work of member aged care providers, professional affiliates, and practitioners, thereby raising awareness about the services they offer.
- Advocating for Education: Spiritual Care Week advocates for professional education regarding the value of emotional wellbeing and spiritual care. It emphasises the importance of continued learning and development in the field of spiritual care.
Resources for Spiritual Care Week 2023:
Meaningful Ageing Australia:
- Book in for one of the ‘Fuel your spirit’ workshops facilitated by the wonderful Annie Bolitho designed for lifting the gloom and supporting aged care. Book here: Events – Meaningful Ageing Australia
- Attend one of the ‘Meditation for older people’ workshops by author Beate Stellar and learn how to facilitate groups for older people while supporting your own self care practice Events – Meaningful Ageing Australia
- Register for our Member Community of Practice with Gillian Shultz on Art Therapy – a way to explore to flourish where you are! All-access webinar – Meaningful Ageing Australia
- Our Self Care Tips for Staff one pager has been updated and available to download free for our members : Self Care Tips for Staff – Meaningful Ageing Australia
- Try out some of our First Nations reflections, prayers and meditations in our Community Library: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander – Meaningful Ageing Australia or the Christian Meditation practice here Christian Care – Meaningful Ageing Australia
- View the range of resources and links available in the Community Library Mental Health and Ageing – Meaningful Ageing Australia
Spiritual Health Association:
- SHA are advocating for spiritually inclusive health care for all, and recognise that spiritual health is a cornerstone of mental wellbeing and will be presenting two new Mental Health and Spirituality posters for Spiritual Care Week 2023. These posters, along with accompanying promotional postcards and flyers, will be launched at their AGM on Friday 20th October.
- Poster #1: Spirituality & Mental Health bridges the concepts of spiritual health and mental health, highlighting the common grounds they share.
- Poster #2: Spiritual & Mental Health Care locates the place of spirituality in the Biopsychosocial-Spiritual model of holistic care and suggests ways all healthcare staff can play a role to support.
- Both resources will be available to download and/ or purchase via our Shop after the launch Spiritual Care Week 2023 (spiritualhealth.org.au).
Mental Health Association:
- MHA highlight the importance of the newly released report to the Nation 2023 Report to the Nation | Mental Health Australia (mhaustralia.org) that shows when compared to 2022, there were no significant differences in the average rating of overall mental health among the different age cohorts, however upwards trends can be observed among those aged 0-8, 9-13, 14-17 and 60+ Download the full report to see the breakdown by various cohorts and demographics. report_to_the_nation_2023.pdf (mhaustralia.org)
- Check out the great list of ideas for the Month of October to help support your mental health: Daily ideas for looking after your mental health this October | Mental Health Australia (mhaustralia.org)
- Share World Mental Health Day posts from the MHA social medias: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AUMentalHealth Twitter: https://twitter.com/AUMentalHealth Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aumentalhealth/ or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/mental-health-australia
Other Useful Links & Support Lines:
- Head to Health www.headtohealth.gov.au Call 1800 595 212 Head to Health connects you to mental health support by phone, in person or online
- 123Yarn 13YARN – Call 13 92 76 Have a yarn, or speak with a dedicated Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Crisis Support worker
- QLife QLife – Support and Referrals call 1800 184 527 (3pm to midnight daily) for counselling and referral service for LGBTIQ+ people
- Embrace Multicultural Mental Health www.embracementalhealth.org.au (02) 6285 3100 for resources, pathways and advice to support mental health in multicultural communities
- Black Dog www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
- Headspace www.eheadspace.org.au
- R U OK? www.ruok.org.au
- ReachOut www.au.reachout.com
FREE psychological treatment to older adults aged 65 years and over who are experiencing loneliness, anxiety and/or depression.
Treatment is available face-to-face at Macquarie University, Sydney or via telehealth/telephone. This national treatment program is co-funded by the NHMRC and Beyond Blue.
Ageing Wisely is a skilled-based psychological treatment program that helps older adults manage their worry, low mood, and/or motivation. The program uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is the gold standard intervention for anxiety and/or low mood. This program has over 10 years of research demonstrating effectiveness for older people.
Interested older adults can contact the Macquarie team directly and no referrals are required. For further information, visit: https://www.mq.edu.au/research/research-centres-groups-and-facilities/healthy-people/centres/centre-for-ageing-cognition-and-wellbeing/engage-with-us/improving-mental-health-in-older-adults-study
Interested older adults are welcome to contact us at AgeingWisely@mq.edu.au or call (02) 9850 8715.