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Spiritual Health

Spiritual health is important to a person’s well-being. It should be a part of each person’s healthcare plan.

Spiritual health is an important part of people-centred care that includes all dimensions of a person: spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, and social.

People diagnosed with cancer may have spiritual health needs. They may start looking for ways to:

  • Find meaning and purpose in life
  • Express themselves
  • Connect to their faith or beliefs.

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Spiritual Distress

Spiritual distress is a conflict between your belief system and your current reality. It is when your core spirituality is challenged and you do not have spiritual well-being.

Spiritual distress can happen when:

  • You are waiting for a diagnosis.
  • You have a major setback or complications.
  • You are in pain or are suffering.
  • Your beliefs do not support the treatment your health care team has recommended.
  • You are wishing for a ritual of faith, such as prayer or having Communion.

Spiritual distress can also affect family members and caregivers of people with cancer. It can often happen if you are:

  • Responsible for making hard or life-changing decisions for your loved one.
  • Experiencing compassion or caregiver fatigue.

Spiritual Care

Spiritual Care is a holistic approach to healthcare. It values and affirms spirituality and faith as part of healing. We support patients and families during their cancer care. We help connect them to their spiritual resources and practices.

Spiritual Care for Indigenous Patients

At BC Cancer we recognize Indigenous spirituality and cultural backgrounds, traditional ceremonies, practices and traditions, are integral parts of holistic healing.   Our Indigenous Patient Navigators can connect our Indigenous Patients (Métis, First Nations and Inuit) to Elders in various regions throughout the province, and you can also request traditional healing, practices, and medicines.  To speak with an Indigenous Patient Navigator please fill out the referral form, or ask a member of the Health Care Team to refer you.

IPN-referral-form.pdf (

Visit Indigenous Cancer Control for more information. 


Cultivating Your Spiritual Garden

This creative and experiential workshop series has been designed for patients who wish to explore and develop their own spirituality. Led by BC Cancer's Multi-Faith Spiritual Health Practitioner, each participant will be guided through a cultivation process that will give them a deeper awareness and assessment of their own spirituality, meaning and purpose. It will also give participants tools to grow inner resources and develop practices to maintain a healthy spiritual garden.  The workshop is open to people of all communities, cultural backgrounds, faiths, religious and non-religious traditions.

The workshop, facilitated on Zoom, will have four, 2-hour sessions, that will have a mix of education and discussion, as well as creative and spiritual exercises for people from all backgrounds.  There will be some light home practice, where participants will be asked to reflect on certain questions prior to class.  

Session 1: September 10th, 2-4pm - Spirituality & Spiritual Distress, The Gifted Self & Self-Compassion

Session 2: September 17th, 2-4pm - Values, Beliefs, Meaning Making, Individuals & Communities

Session 3: September 24th, 2-4pm - Spiritual Practices, Sacred Texts, Sacred Spaces, Rituals

Session 4: October 1st, 2-4pm - Spiritual Experiences, Leap of Faith, Mortality, Beyond Life

Register by September 3rd, 2024. There are only 10 spots available for this workshop.

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