Relating Spirituality and Participation in Faith to Mental Health Care

Community Ment Health J. 2011 Jan 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Spiritual Well-Being of People with Psychiatric Disabilities: The Role of Religious Attendance, Social Network Size and Sense of Control.


Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis, School of Social Welfare, The University of Kansas, 1545 Lilac Lane, Lawrence, KS, 66044-3184, USA,


The influence of psychiatric symptoms, religious attendance, social network size, and sense of control on spiritual well-being were investigated in a cross-sectional study using the Spirituality Index of Well-being. Forty-seven participants with psychiatric disabilities from six consumer-run organizations participated. A factor analysis result revealed two domains of spiritual well-being for people with psychiatric disabilities: self-perceptions regarding making sense of life (developing life purpose) and self-efficacy in obtaining life goals.

Based on our regression analyses, religious attendance, expanding social network size, and having a sense of control over important areas of life may enhance spiritual well-being in spite of severity of psychiatric symptoms.

Supporting mental health consumers who hope to be fully integrated into social and spiritual communities is important. Given the increased attention to consumers‘ internal spiritual experiences in a recovery process, this study adds to knowledge about spirituality in the mental health field.

[PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Swiss Med Wkly. 2004 Jun 26;134(25-26):369-76.

The relationship between schizophrenia and religion and its implications for care.


Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, Département de Psychiatrie, Genève.


This paper focuses on the relationships between schizophrenia and religion, on the basis of a review of literature and the data of an ongoing study about religiousness and spiritual coping conducted among outpatients with chronic schizophrenia.

Religion (including both spirituality and religiousness) is salient in the lives of many people suffering from schizophrenia. However, psychiatric research rarely addresses religious issues. Religious beliefs and religious delusions lie on a continuum and vary across cultures. In Switzerland for example, the belief in demons as the cause of mental health problems is a common phenomenon in Christians with high saliency of religiousness.

Religion has an impact, not always positive, on the comorbidity of substance abuse and suicidal attempts in schizophrenia. In many patients’ life stories, religion plays a central role in the processes of reconstructing a sense of self and recovery. However religion may become part of the problem as well as part of the recovery. Some patients are helped by their faith community, uplifted by spiritual activities, comforted and strengthened by their beliefs. Other patients are rejected by their faith community, burdened by spiritual activities, disappointed and demoralized by their beliefs.

Religion is relevant for the treatment of people with schizophrenia in that it may help to reduce pathology, to enhance coping and to foster recovery. In the treatment of these patients, it appears useful to tolerate diversity, to respect others beliefs, to ban proselytism and to have a good knowledge of one’s own spiritual identity.

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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