How Can Community Religious Groups Aid Recovery for Individuals with Psychotic Illnesses?
Community Ment Health J
Ministries of churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues are a potential resource for individuals with chronic psychoses. Church attendance is highest in states with the least mental health funding, suggesting a role for community religious groups to aid over-extended mental health systems. The American Psychiatric Association has initiated new efforts to foster partnerships between psychiatrists and religious groups. Such partnerships should be informed by research evidence: (1) religious coping can have both beneficial and adverse effects upon psychosis illness severity; (2) psychosocial programs for persons with psychotic disorders should target specific psychobiological vulnerabilities, in addition to providing compassionate emotional support; (3) family psychoeducation is a well-validated model for reducing schizophrenia illness severity that could inform how religious groups provide activities, social gatherings, and social networks for persons with psychotic disorders. Positive impacts from such collaborations may be greatest in low- and middle-income countries where mental health services are largely absent.
School of Medicine