There is considerable and credible evidence that religion and spirituality are positively associated with measures of well-being for many people.It is likely that such a positive association is due to a number of different factors. Religion promotes healthy behaviours and practices. It is a good source of social support. Religious beliefs may both promote resilience to mental health problems and encourage positive and helpful coping strategies following adversity.Often mental health interventions are secularised religious/spiritual practices (e.g. meditation). There is good evidence that this is effective for a range of mental health problems.However, while in studies of groups the majority seem to be helped by religious beliefs and practices, a significant minority report finding religion and spirituality unhelpful and often harmful to their mental health.Often the same experiences (e.g. depression or hallucinations) can be viewed from a religious/spiritual perspective and from a mental health perspective.While mental health services have traditionally been secular, religious and spiritual experiences remain important to service users. There are non-intrusive spiritual/religious assessments and interventions that can be undertaken within ethical guidelines, while respecting the client’s worldview.
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