Spiritual Care at UHN

Spirituality can help you maintain your health and cope with difficult experiences. It can help you find meaning, value and connection, especially during difficult times.

You don’t have to be religious to benefit from spiritual care. We strive to support all types of spiritual expression: religious practice, personal relationships, artistic creation, a connection to nature and more. Our spiritual care professionals will help you express your feelings and concerns in a way that honours your values and beliefs.

We offer you:

  • Encouragement and solace
  • Support for loss and grief
  • One-on-one visits
  • Opportunities for prayer, meditation and reflection
  • Facilitation of religious and spiritual rituals when requested

Common Misconceptions About Spiritual Care

“What if I’m not a religious person?”

You do not need to be religious to benefit from spiritual care. Spirituality is about finding meaning, value, and connection, especially during times of difficulty.

“Will you try to convert me?”

No. Spiritual Care Professionals respect your spiritual and religious beliefs. We are not here to change them.

“Is the spiritual care person a volunteer from a church?”

No. Spiritual Care Professionals are employed by UHN. We are professionally trained to work with people in the hospital.

“Is spiritual care only for someone who is dying?”

No. Spiritual care at UHN is for everyone seeking personal growth or coping with change, illness, or loss.

“Is spiritual care available for employees of the hospital?”

Yes. Spiritual care is available for all patients, families AND staff.

When to Ask for Spiritual Care

We can arrange religious or spiritual services at the request of patients, family members or staff. We can also arrange religious or spiritual rituals. We ask that you give us as much notice as possible when requesting a service.

  • In response to a request from a patient, family member, or friend
  • When faith, spirituality, meaning-making, or all of these together is obviously important
  • When a patient, loved one, or staff member seeks a religious or spiritual ritual
  • When a patient, their family members or everyone involved, is struggling with impending surgery, prognosis or diagnosis, death and dying, or significant loss
  • When a patient or their family’s spirit seems troubled
  • When the treatment team requires a religious or spiritual assessment of a patient
  • When a patient is separated from or has few visible supports
  • When a patient is close to death or has died
  • When staff seek support to identify internal or external resources when faced with workplace challenges

We also have a bereavement support group to help you if you have lost a loved one.

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