Interfaith Health Care Association of Manitoba

Spiritual Health Toolkit


IHCAM is a member of the Provincial Spiritual Health Care Steering Committee that has been working together since 2015 to develop promotional, educational, and formation tools for individuals and organisations working in Spiritual Health and Spiritual Care in Manitoba.  One of the partnerships that has been established is with the University of Manitoba to create a hub to share health information and knowledge.  Please click onto the following link to find many resources, links to websites, etc.   



Other Resources, articles and power point presentations

Overcoming Barriers to Spiritual Health 
Dr. Harold G. Koenig, October 2021

Beyond quality of life: the meaning of death and suffering in palliative care. - PubMed - NCBI

Total pain includes existential pain research paper. 

Breaking News from Religion, Spirituality & Health Research

Harold G. Koenig, MD - 2016            
These slides have links to some religious-integrated psychotherapies, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu  

CE: Moral Distress A Catalyst in Building Moral Resilience

Rushton, Cynda Hylton PhD, RN, FAAN; Caldwell, Meredith BA; Kurtz, Melissa MSN, RN
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000484933.40476.5b

Featured Article from the American Journal of Nursing:

Community Resiliency Model

A Public Health Model for Promoting Health and Healing: 

Developing Agreed and Accepted Understandings of Spirituality and Spiritual Care Concepts among Members of an Innovative Spirituality Interest Group in the Republic of Ireland


Herth Hope Index − A psychometric study among cognitively intact nursing home patients.

Herth Hope Scale Templae: 

Inner Chaplaincy by Judy Long, A Reflection on “Being with Dying”

A Reflection on the book Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death by Roshi Joan Halifax 

Standardized Methods of Education within Clinical Training for Chaplaincy

This article originally appeared in the January 16, 2018 issue of PlainViews®, the online journal published by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and is published here with permission. 


End of life choices Workshop held on January 8, 2018  

The Interfaith Healthcare Association of Manitoba in partnership with the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba, the St. Boniface Hospital Spiritual Care Department's Clinical Pastoral Education, and the Compassion Project organized the End of life choices workshop that was attended by 63 participants.  Thank you to Mary Holmen, Mary Shariff, Glen Horst and Mike Goldberg for your presentations.

To obtain copies of the PPT presentations, click on the following links:  

MAID                                          INVOLUNTARY PILGRIM ON THE VIA NEGATIVA             PALLIATIVE CARE

To view results of the Table discussions on MAID click here, and to view the Table discussion results on Suffering click here.


For those who were interested in Mary Shariff's presentation and would like to read further on the following subjects, please click on the links below that she has provided as resources:



Excerpt:  “The legalization of medical assistance in dying (MAiD) raises a host of complex ethical and practical challenges that have implications for both policy and practice. The CMA supports maintaining the balance between three equally legitimate considerations: respecting decisional autonomy for those eligible Canadians who are seeking access, protecting vulnerable persons through careful attention to safeguards, and creating an environment in which practitioners are able to adhere to their moral commitments.”


Caring for the Human Spirit 2018 PPT Presentations

Advanced Cancer Patients: Understanding their Spiritual Strengths and Distress through Lived experience 
Saneta Maiko, PhD., BCC.,;  Ann Cottingham, MAR, MA.; Alexia M. Torke, MD. MS.

Ambiguous Loss - A Spiritual Assessment Tool 1.0 by Linda S. Golding MA, BCC NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

Balancing Hope in Miracles with Biomedical Decision-Making at the End of Life 
Kelly Arora, PhD Co-Director, Interprofessional Graduate Certificate & Master of Science in Palliative Care, Allied Health Professionals

Board Certification Preparatory Course: What Do I Have To Do To Get Certified? Rev. George Handzo, BCC, CSSBB Director, Health Services Research & Quality; Rev. Susan K. Wintz Director, Professional & Community Education HealthCare Chaplaincy Network  New York, NY

Building a Successful Chaplaincy Department: Growing a Spiritual Care in Times of Scarcity:
Rev. George Handzo, BCC, CSSBB Director, Health Services Research & Quality; Rev, Susan Wintz, BCC Director, Professional & Community Education HealthCare Chaplaincy Network  New York, NY

Caring Choices:  Advance Care Planning For Family Residents And Across a Health System 
Mike Johnston, MA, MDiv, DMin & Valerie Johnston, PhD, FACHE

Chaplain Led Family Meetings  Anson Pham, M.D.; Rev. Charles Blankenship, M.Div.

Creating Connection Linda S Golding, MA, BCC; Patricia Punzalan, MA, RN, NE-BC  New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York

Developing a Taxonomy for Pediatric Chaplaincy The Advocate Health Care Model 
Rev Paul Nash, Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care Lead  Birmingham Women’s & Children’s hospital NHSFT, England Director, Centre For Paediatric Spiritual Care

Developing an Objective Religious and Spiritual Assessment Tool 
Ahmend Aboabat, Ph.D., Rehabilitation Consultant, King Fahad Medical City Spiritual Care Generalist-N/SW

Faith Community Nurses and Chaplains: Partners in Providing Spiritual Care   Sharon T. Hinton D. Min, MSN, BSN, RN-BC

Finding True Measures for Chaplaincy Outcomes.  by Rev. Kevin Massey, BCC Advocate Health Care

From What’s Wrong With You? To What’s Happening to You? Re-Framing Spiritual Care Through a Trauma-Informed Lens  David Hottinger, M.Div Manager, Spiritual Care Department Hennepin Healthcare System Minneapolis, MN

Gaining Hope, Finding Purpose: The Power of a Chaplain in Improving Quality of Life for Patients and Families 
Torrie Fields, MPH  Senior Program Manager, Advanced Illness & Palliative Care

Integrity Formation™ - An Integrative Protocol Addressing Moral Distress for Interdisciplinary Professionals 
Nancy Markham Bugbee, PsyD-c, MA, MBA, BCC & Kate Hoffmann, MRE, MSW, LCSW

Labyrinth Walks: Meeting Spiritual Needs in a Changing Culture by Libby Conley, MDiv & Noelle Andrew, MDiv, BCC

Ministering to the Orthodox/Hassidic Jewish Population in the Hospital Setting 
Rabbi Ralph Kreger, BCC New York-Presbyterian Columbia Univ. MC

Our Veterans: Spiritual Issues at the End of life  Penny V. Phillips, MA, MDiv, BCC, Palo Alto VA Hospice & Palliative Care Center

Promoting Staff Well-Being and Success A Spiritual Care / Work Life Balance Team Initiative 
Rev. Bill Cooper, M.Div., Spiritual Care Services; Jill DeVries, RN-BC, Chair, Work Life Balance Council; Sanford USD Medical Center, Sioux Falls, SD

Science Fiction as Spiritual Reflection by Jonna Rachele Garvin

Spiritual Care in the Face of Medical Assistance in Dying – Are the Two Mutually Exclusive? 
Roshene Lawson, Clinical Chaplain, St. Vincent Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario CANADA

Technology on the Religious and Spiritual Counselling (Tahoor Application) 
Anas AlShedokhi - Chairperson, Religious & Spiritual Counseling Department

The Complementary Catalytic Healing Role of the Chaplain by Doug Longstaffe



Core Competencies

Manitoba's Provincial Spiritual Health Care Steering Committee's Professional Education and Training Working Group have developed with partners , Manitoba's Core Competencies for Spiritual Health Care Practitioners in recruitment and evaluation of SHC practitioners.  To view the Core Competencies, click HERE.

Pastoral Care Assessment Tool

In 2015 Catholic Health Australia (CHA) undertook an extensive survey about pastoral care service provision in the Catholic health andaged care sector. The report analysing the findings of the survey can be found at the CHA Website ( The survey report included a range of recommendations. These have been used to develop the following pastoral care assessment tool. Individuals, teams and organisations can use the tool as a way of recognising strengths and determining areas for improvement.

A suggested approach for using the pastoral care assessment tool is provided for consideration and adaptation. The template is intended to be a point of reference which can be adapted and/or integrated with an organisation’s existing frameworks and reporting tools.  A point scoring system is offered as a way of measuring improvements over time. A suggested process is as follows:

1. Individual pastoral practitioners and managers self-assess how they perceive their service is performing against each of the focus area issues.
2. Pastoral care teams together review the results of the individual assessments and develop a “team assessment.”
3. The team assessment is presented to the executive for consideration, agreement of priorities and development of a plan of action.
4. The plan of action is reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
5. The pastoral care assessment tool is revisited to assess progress and determine new priorities and action plans.

To view the full assessment tool click on this link: 


On-Line Educational Series

This 5-part educational series is designed to train health professionals to integrate spirituality into patient care as part of the practice of "whole person" medicine. Health professionals, regardless of specialty, are encouraged to watch all five videos (even though the first three videos are designed for physicians). The first video is an overview and summary of the series. The second video focuses on past research linking religion/spirituality to mental, social, behavioral, and physical health, which forms the rationale for this approach. The third video examines in detail "how to" integrate spirituality into patient care in a way that minimizes physician time and utilizes a team approach. The fourth video is designed for nurses and practice managers and focuses on the spiritual care coordinator, who orchestrates the addressing of patients' spiritual needs. The fifth video is designed for the entire spiritual care team and describes how team members work together to accomplish the common goal of practicing whole person care, with a focus on the role of the chaplain and the social worker. 

Suicide screening

Spiritual Health practitioners are not trained to assess or diagnose risk for suicide.  That said, you are often referred to patients who have suicidal ideation, are actively suicidal or following a suicide attempt.  Though your focus is on assessing meaning and purpose in life as well as facilitating emotional/spiritual/religious supports, in order to better understand the person you may use the NHI Suicide screening tool; please check the responses with other health care professionals on the team.

Here is a link to the NHI Suicide screening tool.

Spiritual Care Practitioners are not diagnosticians. Having additional focused questions in your toolbox will help you do better assessments.  Your findings must always be checked with team members who are trained to make diagnoses, be it Social Work, Psychology, Psychiatry etc.

What are suicide risk assessment tools and how should they be used?

The suicide risk assessment tools in this Toolkit aim to identify (1) specific symptoms or conditions known to be related to risk factors or warning signs for suicide (i.e., symptom assessment), and (2) resilience or protective factors that assess a person’s motivation or determination to live or die.

Such tools can be administered through self-report measures or via clinical-administered interviews or observations. They can be administered orally, with pencil and paper, and/or electronically, either independently (as a screening measure) or as part of more comprehensive health or behavioural health assessment.

While suicide risk assessment tools are important to the assessment process, they should be used to inform, not replace, clinical judgment3,5 and to provide additional information and corroboration to inform clinical decision-making about suicide risk and treatment planning. When possible, these tools should be incorporated into a more comprehensive clinical suicide risk assessment or evaluation and be administered by a trained clinician or healthcare worker (once a therapeutic rapport has been established).3,6

How to Use this Toolkit

This Toolkit seeks to provide a high-level overview of what to consider when using suicide risk assessment tools, along with a non-exhaustive list of available tools and their characteristics. It is designed to be a quick, informative guide for healthcare workers and organizations interested in selecting and comparing such tools. The process of assessing suicide risk is complex. While assessment tools play an important role, they should be used to inform, not replace, clinical judgment.

Sponsored by: The Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Production of this Toolkit has been made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.