Soul Care Project


Scared and Afraid

Scared and Afraid

Who Are You?

The numbers of people who consider themselves spiritual but not “religious” are growing year by year. Whether you are connected to a particular faith tradition or are following your own spiritual path, there are times when you need a helping hand, a listening ear, an open heart – to offer connection, relief, and a way forward.

The fact is, we are living in particularly unsettled times. Americans are unsure about the safety of their families, finances, and communities. At the same time, many are facing life-altering situations of their own that can include their or a family member’s health crisis, loss of a loved one, troubled relationships, or isolation due to age, illness or any number of factors in their personal lives. Any of these things can lead to worry and fear about current circumstances and what the future may bring.

Whatever our beliefs and values, these emotions are a symptom of spiritual distress. Spiritual distress is a disruption in our beliefs or value system, and can affect our entire being when we are unable to connect to sources of meaning, hope, comfort, strength or when conflict occurs between our beliefs and what is happening in our lives. At times, we can feel not only fear and worry, but discouragement and a sense of isolation.

Someone to Talk To

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network hears from people every day who are struggling to face the fear in their own lives, or hoping to help another who is suffering from illness, addiction, depression, or other difficulties that challenge us to our core. Our line is open to people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and worldviews, and is not restricted to addressing one particular type of problem.

HCCN offers a place to turn for anyone seeking support, understanding, and an end to isolation that is sometimes fueled by fear or despair. Our spiritual care counselors are available by phone, email or video call, to provide one-on-one support for people seeking someone to confide in.

To connect with this free and confidential service, click on the link at the upper right to our Chat with a Counselor helpline

How Else Are We Helping?

At HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, we are committed to making a greater difference in this world of ever-increasing need. Indeed, our services are more in demand than ever before.

  • In 2017, we added six new hospitals – in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island – to those where we care for the spiritual, existential and emotional needs of patients, their families, and medical staff.
  • We are teaching increasing numbers of nurses, social workers, doctors, and administrators about the value of what we broadly call spiritual care – that is, attending to patients’ heartfelt values and deepest concerns in the context of their health care.
  • We are developing and sharing best practices so patients’ spiritual and emotional needs are met effectively, with the benefit of the latest research and experience in the field.
  • We are sharing our resources with organizations in 16 countries, some of which are just beginning to integrate spiritual care into their health care systems.

For more information and resources, check out these helpful articles.

Click on each title for full article.

Living with Anxiety in the Age of Terrorism – from Motto

On September 11, 2001, after watching the smoke balloons spiral out of the Pentagon, I waited for five frozen hours to hear from my then-boyfriend. I waited with my coworkers as we sipped warm chardonnay and watched CNN at Rhodeside Grill in Arlington, Virginia. I waited in a beige bathroom stall, wondering if linoleum protected against bombs. I waited in front of my computer, numbly refreshing whatever news site still seemed to be working...

The Difference between Fear and Anxiety - from VeryWell

Fear and anxiety often occur together but these terms are not interchangeable. Even though symptoms typically overlap, a person's experience with these emotions differs based on their context. Fear relates to a known or understood threat, whereas anxiety follows from an unknown or poorly defined threat...

Living with Anxiety, Searching for Joy - from CNN

I am hunched in half on a blue chair on the third floor of the Tiffany & Co. flagship store, willing myself to calm down or simply disappear. At this moment, the latter seems a more likely possibility, but even so, it's not working. A neatly suited young woman is dispatched to assess the state of my well-being, because so far as I can tell, most other ladies are pretty jazzed to be in the temple of sparkle and promise. I, on the other hand, am a quivering storm cloud, desperately trying to contain the shocks and sog of my current upset so they don't stain anyone else's happy pre-holiday afternoon...

Surprising Insights about Anxiety - from Psych Central

Everyone struggles with anxiety from time to time. Some of us have a closer relationship with it than others. But even though anxiety is universal, there are still plenty of misconceptions about how it functions and what helps to treat it. Below anxiety experts reveal the truths about anxiety—many insights which might surprise you...