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Types of spiritual care services

Means of access

Spiritual Care practitioners visit the majority of hospital units on a regular basis and are available by referral to all units. Hospital staff may refer by telephone. Once the referral is made the SCP follows up directly with the Patient/client for her or his spiritual needs.
Hospital Interfaith Spiritual Care Practitioners, Residents and interns are on site at VGH 7 days per week and are available by on call 24 hours. 

Direct bedside care and counselling

Our practitioners assist with coping and containing emotional crisis through spiritual support to lessen suffering. For some patients it may mean exploration of spiritual concerns at deep emotional and cognitive levels using spiritually-focussed dialogue and counselling that addresses such matters as the meaning or purpose of life, feelings of connection or disconnection with a higher power, coping with loss, addressing despair and finding hope. Practitioners are highly trained in self-awareness, so as to be able to be fully present with patients/clients in their deepest suffering.  Provision of rituals by our denominational and multi-faith service providers is also facilitated.

Spiritual assessment

Our Spiritual Care Practitioners assess the spiritual need of each client according to department standards and professional guidelines.


Consults may be requested for assistance with patients, families or teams from a spiritual perspective on such matters as advance health care planning, the provision or removal of life supports, medical assistance in dying, conflict resolution and other matters that may benefit from application of a spiritual lens.

Interfaith sacred space

Sacred space is a place to pray or sit in quietness. It is available for all people. There are also scriptures from the major world religions available. There is a scared space in each of the following facilities;

Vancouver General Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital, Richmond Hospital, George Pearson Centre, GF Strong, Purdy Residence/UBC, North Shore Hospice and HOpe Centre.

Access to denominational care

Patients or their family members can request staff in their hospital or care facility for a visit by denominational clergy. The staff member contacts the Spiritual Care department for a clergy visit to be arranged with the denomination. 

On site Denominational Care Providers at VGH include Roman Catholic and Anglican.  Jehovah Witness and Jewish denominations visit on a weekly or bi weekly basis. Other Religious Care Providers are also available by request.

Interfaith VCH Spiritual Care Practitioners

Certified Hospital Interfaith Spiritual Care Practitioners are available at VGH seven days a week and are on-call after hours. They are also available Monday–Friday at other sites as well as being on-call.

Group Services

  • Memorial services

  • Worship and devotional services

  • Critical incident de-briefing sessions


Special events may be announced from time to time such as Spiritual Care Week or educational opportunities.

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