Emergency Spiritual Care Sector of the Specialized Medical Assistance Response Team (SMART)
Purpose of the Emergency Spiritual Care Sector:
The purpose of the Emergency Spiritual Care function is to ensure rapid deployment of specially trained emergency spiritual care providers during/subsequent to a disaster or critical incident in which a large portion of the population is affected.
Goal of the Emergency Spiritual Care Function:
The goal of the Emergency Spiritual Care function is to provide sensitive spiritual and emotional care and support to victims, their significant others, bystanders, the community at large and emergency responders during an acute period following a disaster or critical incident. The role of the trained members of the Emergency Spiritual Care function is to assist those affected by drawing upon their own emotional and spiritual resources while respecting each individual’s culture, religious traditions, and faith commitments. Spiritual and emotional support helps to reduce and/or manage the initial distress caused by disasters and critical incidents and facilitates short and long term adaptive functioning via:
- Providing Spiritual First Aid
- Providing access to spiritual worship
- Providing access to sacred scriptures, texts and objects.
- Assistance in locating food that meets a person’s spiritual needs, if possible.
- Providing a multi-faith sacred space that can be used for meditation and prayer.
- Appropriate timely spiritual care to the dead, if safe and possible to do.
- Respecting the cultural, spiritual and religious diversity of others.
- Refraining from proselytizing and evangelizing.
- Collaborate closely with the SMART Mental Health & Treatment sectors to facilitate therapeutic care.
- Offering comfort
- Providing for basic needs
- Validating thoughts and feelings