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The Spirit of Caring - Registrations now open for RHA program on compassionate care

It should come as no surprise that spiritual health is often a key element in helping patients adapt to the challenging situations that are common within health care settings. Spiritual focus can be vital for patients to maintain their courage and inner strength, especially during times of a health crisis.

To help build that capacity, Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority is offering the Spirit of Caring course this spring. This non-denominational, nine week class series prepares volunteers to support those in a health care setting and cope during moments of suffering, trauma, uncertainty or loss.

"Spiritual care offers holistic healing in helping patients find their peace,” said Marion Magnusson, Interlake-Eastern’s spiritual health services coordinator. “It is during these moments of uncertainty that patients may need to regain their spiritual focus and reconnect with their beliefs.”

The course will guide volunteers in how to attend to spiritual distress, conflict and dilemma both in themselves and others in a respectful, caring and compassionate way. Participants will learn the practical applications of spirituality in a variety of situations in health care including how to recognize, respect and support a spiritual need.

“It is the activity of devoting presence, attention and respectful listening that helps people while they are perhaps in the midst of a health crisis,” Magnusson said.

Open to all in the community, the Spirit of Caring offers nine weekly sessions of 2.5 hours. All course fees will be waived for those who go onto becoming a spiritual health services volunteer in any of the Regional Health Authorities in Manitoba.

“We’re using hope, respect and kindness to establish healthy caring relationships,” Magnusson said.

The course runs from April 3 to May 29 at Selkirk Regional Health Centre from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Deadline for volunteer registration is March 20. For details and to register, contact Marion Magnusson at 204-785-7028, cell: 204-641-1379 or

Caption: Marion Magnusson, spiritual health services coordinator with Interlake-Eastern RHA, is training volunteers to help patients find their spiritual focus.


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