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Nine Week Course Offers Deeper Insight Into Spiritual Care
Interlake-Eastern RHA is hosting a nine-week spiritual care education course that will see session sites rotating to include the communities of Beausejour and Oakbank.

The RHA’s coordinators of spiritual health services, Stepan Bilynskyy and Otto Christensen, are offering the course that is open to anyone interested, particularly those who want to volunteer with the spiritual care program in hospitals or personal care homes.


According to Bilynskyy, the education series is an opportunity to explore the essential place of spiritual health in overall healing.


“The course builds on the practices of listening and supportive presence with people in the health care context. People who take this training tend to be interested in reflecting with others about the spiritual dimension of life, who enjoy hearing people’s stories and who see the value and impact of companionship,” Bilynskyy said.


Spiritual care training has been offered in Lac du Bonnet, Beausejour and Pine Falls in the past with approximately 20 people participating in sessions to date.


During the nine week session, participants will better understand
spiritual diversity in health care, communication, that nature of spiritual care visits, finding the spiritual focus, understanding suffering & compassion, dying and death including crisis and trauma), prayer, meditation and rituals, spiritual development and self care.


The course session are provided in a group learning setting that has proven to be valuable for past participants according to Christensen.


“People often tell me that once they became comfortable with each other, they had a much greater experience through the sessions because they were able to share personal experiences and learn from each other. It’s a wonderful opportunity to practice the skills we’re learning,”
Christensen said.


Guest speakers attend sessions to enhance learning. They offer their experiences in spiritual care as a means of furthering people’s understanding. Commentary from previous students includes “We learned skills to help others open up to us about their spiritual pains” and “Good for the soul – inspiring and worthwhile.”


Courses will begin September 25 and be held every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. concluding on November 20. Participation is limited to eight people. Participants will need to be able to travel to the three sites where sessions will take place throughout the nine weeks: Beausejour hospital, East Gate Lodge in Beausejour and Kin Place in Oakbank. A $100 training fee is refunded to those who register to volunteer with the Interlake-Eastern RHA Spiritual Health program.

For more information and to receive an application package, contact Stepan Bilynskyy, Bilynskyy@ierha.ca, (204) 268-7426 or Otto Christensen, ochristensen@ierha.ca, (204) 641-1379.

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