Books, Articles and Research
Spirituality as an Evidence Based Practice
While there is growing recognition that spirituality often plays a vital role in recovery and well-being, it is often not discussed in therapeutic settings. Based on his own experience, the author discusses how he has engaged others in conversations about religion and spirituality in therapeutic settings. Key aspects of spiritual practices and questions one may ask are discussed.
How Mindfulness Can Help Your Creativity
This article introduces mindfulness and meditation, as well as recent research that shows the positive effect of these practices in increasing creative problem solving and adaptability. The author discusses implications of this effect for recovery from mental health problems, specifically in relation to suicide prevention. He notes that people contemplating suicide may be thinking in habitual and even rigid ways, and that mindfulness and meditation may help them move out of these ways of thinking and come up with alternative ways to address issues they are facing, which in turn may bring them relief.
Commentary: Clergy Matter
This article discusses the important role that members of the clergy can play in helping congregation members and their families to recognize and address alcohol and other substance use disorders and offer support to promote healing and recovery. The article discusses the importance of educating clergy members about addictions so they can be effective in this important role and identifies strategies to maximize the positive impact of these interventions. The Clergy Education and Training Project is also introduced, along with some of the work those involved in the project are doing to help better prepare and equip faith leaders in fulfilling this role.
Reaching out to the LGBT population
In this article, the Executive Director of Rainbow Heights Club, a New York program for individuals with mental disorders who identify with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, shares his thoughts on what they have learned about providing support to LGBT people. He cites the U.S. Surgeon General's estimate that 2.6 percent of adults in general are living with a serious mental disorder and adds that this estimate combined with other statistics suggests that 11,000 LGBT adults with mental disorders live in New York City alone. The author goes on to describe the negative attitudes and harmful beliefs that Rainbow Heights Club members have faced, their use of support groups to address these obstacles, and the overall success of the Rainbow Heights approach to supporting LGBT people with mental disorders. Many of these successes involve high levels of consumer appreciation reflected in satisfaction surveys, increases in funding, and decreases in the need for hospitalization among Rainbow Heights Club members.
Risking connection in faith communites: A training curriculum for faith leaders supporting trauma
This training guide is a resource for faith leaders assisting trauma survivors who are members of their congregations. The guide discusses the nature of psychological trauma and how it impacts individuals, including the impact of trauma on one's spirituality. The guide enhances faith leaders' understanding and skills and provides information they can use to help survivors.
Recovery model: A Christian appraisal
This article examines recovery from the perspective of a Christian worldview, in the context of Christian theology and psychology. The author discusses how others' negative attitudes and harmful beliefs regarding people with mental disorders can be a barrier to recovery, the concept of empowerment as being fundamental to Christian theology, and the role that key Christian concepts such as sin, grace, and redemption play in recovery from a Christian perspective. The article examines this issue including implications for individuals, communities, and providers.
Mental health services in faith communities: The role of clergy in black churches
This article discusses ways in which behavioral health needs are addressed within faith communities. Researchers discuss a number of specific factors including the role of faith leaders in behavioral health services delivery, the development of church-based programs, and models that link churches and service agencies. Barriers to effective church and agency partnerships are also discussed.
The Role of Social Capital in Building Healthy Communities
This report focuses on the role that community-based institutions play in developing healthy communities and encouraging social capital. Information from case studies done in four U.S. cities are used to address the different views of social capital, local social service delivery systems, and influence of faith communities in providing support to families and communities.
The spirituality of imperfection
This book asks readers to understand their imperfections and find positive meaning in suffering and failure. Through several stories, the book explores the idea that no one is perfect and that humans need to understand their limitations as part of life.
Firewalkers: Madness, Beauty & Mystery
VOCAL Virginia used grant funding from SAMHSA's Campaign for Mental Health Recovery to produce a living anthology of stories of people who have experienced the turbulence of a mental health crisis. A guide to radically rethinking mental health, Firewalkers redefines mental illness as "a journey of emotional turbulence, crazy blessings, ecstatic visions, and mad gifts."
Church-based support groups for African American families coping with mental illness: Outreach and outcomes
This study examined the outreach efforts used to provide information about support groups to congregants as well as the participation outcomes reported by families who attended support group meetings.