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Faith and spirituality can be a very helpful component of someone’s recovery from mental illness. A place of worship is often a safe space for people where they can feel welcomed and have an instant sense of support and community. And for many individuals and families, faith plays a significant role in their recovery experience.
Churches, temples, mosques and faith communities reach 70% of the American population each month. In the United States, clergy outnumber psychiatrists by nearly 10 to one and are more equitably distributed geographically than health professionals.
The faith community can fight stigma by educating both youth and adult congregations. Families affected by mental illness are often challenged by some serious faith questions, as are others going through experiences that ask much of them. Educated faith communities can offer emotional, relational and spiritual counseling to persons touched by mental illness.
Education and awareness are valuable keys to shattering the silence and barriers that surround treatment. By dispelling myths, ignorance and fear, congregations liberate persons touched by mental illness to share their struggles, seek help, regain hope and set out on a new course toward recovery.
Recovery is possible. And faith communities can play a significant role in the healing process by bringing solace and a sense of wholeness