Isn’t spiritual care a religious activity?

It is for some. But not for us. We offer emotional-existential support for people who do not identify as religious by people who do not identify as religious.

Is there any evidence that spiritual care works?

There is growing evidence, including from the World Health Organisation, that spiritual care can contribute to positive mental and physical health outcomes. Spiritual care works, in part, by helping see that suffering is part of the human condition and that compassion — which literally means ‘to suffer together’ — can allow us during difficult times to find meaning, purpose and hope through human connection.

Where do secular spiritual carers work and how do I get someone to help me?

While we are currently only operating in a few hospitals, SSCN hopes to be able to place secular spiritual carers in any number of settings where religiously affiliated spiritual carers operate such as workplaces, hospices, aged care facilities, schools and prisons. We also hope to be soon offering support over the phone or via online video calls.

What qualifications are required to become a secular spiritual carer?

We are in the process of establishing standards/credentialing criteria. Currently, secular spiritual volunteers are required to:

  • Complete a detailed application form;
  • Sit for an interview;
  • Complete a self-assessment test;
  • Provide three referees;
  • Attend a two-day induction program;
  • Complete a reflective skills assessment;
  • Write a reflective essay; and
  • Pass a Police Check.

How would I explore becoming a secular spiritual carer?

To begin a conversation with us about how to get involved, please contact our program director, Joe Sehee at

What are you looking for in a secular spiritual carer?

We look for compassionate individuals who have the interpersonal competencies and listening skills necessary for this work. We want people who can act in a non-judgemental manner. And perhaps most importantly, we look for a person that others would feel comfortable connecting with and confiding in.