Spirituality and Mental Health
What is spirituality? What is Religion? Do I practice? Am I a believer or a non-believer? Of What? How do my spiritual and/or religious orientations affect my mental health, or the mental health of those for whom I care?
A comprehensive essay is titled “Healing From Within: Spirituality and Mental Health”, by Dr. Larry Culliford. It describes the parameters of spiritual healing and also has reference to other books and websites.
The Mental Health Organization, located in the UK, has an exploration of the uses of spirituality in mental health healing. It is based on the premise that “spirituality can play an important role in helping people maintain good mental health and live with or recover from mental health problems.”
The American Psychological Association, a major American organization representing mental health caregivers, has fostered interest groups and published on the effects of spirituality in the healing of mental health issues. In this essay it poses the question: “What Role to Religion and Spirituality Play in Mental Health?”.
A Fact Sheet, prepared by Rethink Mental Illness, of the U.K., could be useful in workshops; it is clear and formatted much like FAQs questions and answers. Of particular interest are the contacts with like-minded thinkers of different faith-based organizations and dogma.
Psychology Today is a magazine of popular psychology; they have published an essay exploring and comparing people who are “spiritual” and those who are “religious” with vulnerability to mental health issues and problems. The title of the essay is “Troubled Souls: Spirituality as a Mental Health Hazard”.
Children and Adolescents also have spiritual and religious sides, often different from adults. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry takes a look at families’ religious and spiritual orientations and how those may affect the children of the family. There are also links to more information and therapeutic resources.