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Spiritual Care Program Returns to SMH

[New Tecumseth, ON – June 17, 2024] Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) is thrilled to announce the re-launch of their Spiritual Care program. The program, which had been temporarily on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been reintroduced thanks to hospital volunteers and their dedication to its return.

Led by volunteers Reverend Kim McArthur of St. Andrew Anglican Church in Alliston and Carla Beckett, President of the SMH Auxiliary, the Spiritual Care Team has been working diligently to provide compassionate support, spiritual comfort, and meaningful conversation to patients in need. Members of the team participate in training and meetings with a psychotherapist to ensure their readiness and mental health awareness.

“The support of the hospital has been wonderful,” says Rev. Kim McArthur. “It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to serve at SMH.”

The role of the Spiritual Care Team does not involve the promotion of any specific religion or belief. Their primary function is to provide attentive listening, support, and advocacy for visitors.

“It can be very intimidating in a hospital. People are very vulnerable in their hospital rooms. Some people don’t know what’s happening and they’re scared,” says Reverend Kim McArthur. “That is what the Spiritual Care Program is for. We go in, introduce ourselves as Spiritual Care Visitors, see if they would like a visit, and patients just start talking. There's a real connection with our humanities and our spirits, whether people know it or not.”

Spirituality can greatly impact a patient's well-being, an often-overlooked area in healthcare. According to studies, unmet spiritual needs in patients can lead to reduced levels of quality of life, increased risk of depression, and reduction in perceptions of spiritual peace. Some studies also suggest that people who have regular spiritual practices tend to live longer, and patients who are spiritual may utilize their beliefs in coping with illness, pain, and life stresses.

“Spirituality is part of our being, we’re physical, psychological, but our spirituality is just as important as the rest of our being,” says SMH Auxiliary President, Carla Beckett. “When people are facing the end of life or a serious illness, it can be a great comfort to have spiritual support and a strong sense of faith.”

SMH is pleased with the reinstatement of this essential program, which plays a vital role in providing much-needed support and solace to patients during their time at the hospital. For more information on the Spiritual Care Program, including how to become a volunteer, please visit, or contact Carla Beckett at