Joan Crabtree, Spiritual Health

Joan Crabtree

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing our world and health-care professionals are on the front lines.

There’s an increasing demand for spiritual health services amongst those who call Misericordia home.

“People are scared and uncertain,” says Joan Crabtree, lead spiritual-health provider at Misericordia Health Centre.

Very simply put, Joan describes spiritual health as: “How you find meaning and purpose in life.”

While COVID-19 has changed the offerings of the spiritual health department at Misericordia, Joan and her team are working tirelessly to meet the spiritual-health needs of residents and clients.

“We’re doing a lot more one-on-ones, acknowledging it’s normal to feel anxious, scared, lonely. And from there, we’re exploring where [residents] can find encouragement – whether it’s prayer, music or calling family.”

Alongside one-on-one meetings and discussions with residents, Nurturing the Spirit – a conversational group program – is still running. However, the capacity has been decreased and the room where it takes place has been spaced out, to ensure appropriate social distance measures.

Despite looming uncertainty, Joan notes there are some really positive things happening in the world right now including: “People are reaching out and talking on the phone with others they haven’t connected with in a long time.”

Connection and belonging are major parts of spirituality. “Everyone can discover their own sense of spirituality, regardless of religion, race, creed or otherwise,” says Joan. “It’s acknowledging there’s something bigger than us. That’s a powerful realization of COVID-19 – we’re all in this together.”

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