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NewsShould religion be counted on to improve 'mental' health?

Should religion be counted on to improve ‘mental’ health?

Should then states support citizens and their religious communities so that they can step up in dealing with those who look at religion and religious "therapy" as the answer to their problems?

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Juan Sanchez Gil
Juan Sanchez Gil
Juan Sanchez Gil - at The European Times News - Mostly in the back lines. Reporting on corporate, social and governmental ethics issues in Europe and internationally, with emphasis on fundamental rights. Also giving voice to those not being listened to by the general media.

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Should then states support citizens and their religious communities so that they can step up in dealing with those who look at religion and religious "therapy" as the answer to their problems?

Psychiatry Needs to Get Right with God1, is the title of a scientific article that has wanted to pick into this. “By not making more of an effort to incorporate spirituality in treatment, we are doing a disservice to patients”

In the article published on June 15, 2021, David H. Rosmarin he said that “In the early days of the pandemic, economist Jeanet Bentzen of the University of Copenhagen examined Google searches for the word “prayer” in 95 countries. She identified that they hit an all-time global high in March 2020, and increases occurred in lockstep with the number of COVID-19 cases identified in each country. Stateside, according to the Pew Research Center, 55 percent of Americans prayed to end the spread of the novel coronavirus in March 2020, and nearly one quarter reported that their faith increased the following month, despite limited access to houses of worship.”

There are however documented plans for psychiatry wanting to take over from religion, or at least wanting to take over religion and control it for their own purposes, while ensuring religiosity disappears more and more. In fact, it was the 1940s, when psychiatrists J.R. Rees and G. Brock Chisholm, cofounders of the World Federation for Mental Health, outlined their plans for society where they said “We have made a useful attack upon a number of professions,” said Rees in 1940. “The two easiest of them naturally are the teaching profession and the Church.”… “To achieve world government,” said Chisholm, “it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism, and religious dogmas.”, so no wonder why someone is worried about COVID19 and their future, or just about the many problems one can find in life, the psychiatric industry seems to prefer people to do more pills, than prayers.

Back to the article from Dr. Rosmarin from last June about the use of spirituality and religion to improve “mental health”, “These are not just interesting sociological trends—they are clinically significant. Spirituality has historically been dismissed by psychiatrists, but results from a pilot program at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts indicate that attention to it is a critical aspect of mental health care.”

HE explains that in 2017 his own multidisciplinary team of mental health clinicians, researchers and chaplains created what they called the Spiritual Psychotherapy for Inpatient, Residential and Intensive Treatment (SPIRIT), which was a flexible and spiritually integrated form of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

After that they trained a cadre of more than 20 clinicians, stationed on 10 different clinical units throughout McLean Hospital, to deliver SPIRIT and evaluated the approach. Rosmarin writes that “since 2017, SPIRIT has been delivered to more than 5,000 people” and the their “results suggest that spiritual psychotherapy is not only feasible but highly desired by patients“.

The explains that in the past year, American mental health had sank to the lowest point in history: “Incidence of mental disorders increased by 50 percent, compared with before the pandemic, alcohol and other substance abuse surged, and young adults were more than twice as likely to seriously consider suicide than they were in 2018.

Yet, Rosmarin states that “the only group to see improvements in mental health during the past year were those who attended religious services at least weekly (virtually or in-person): 46 percent report “excellent” mental health today versus 42 percent one year ago. As former congressional representative Patrick J. Kennedy and journalist Stephen Fried wrote in their book A Common Struggle, the two most underappreciated treatments for mental disorders are ‘love and faith.‘”

It’s no wonder that nearly 60 per cent of psychiatric patients want to discuss spirituality in the context of their treatment. Yet we rarely provide such an opportunity.

It is now nearly 100 years ago, since Freud’s characterization of religion as a “mass-delusion” and with the documented plans of psychiatrists Rees and Chisolm, too mental health “professionals” and scientists have deliberately put religion aside in dealing with the emotional and spiritual needs people while too often simplifying happiness or sadness to an already disproven “chemical imbalance” with which they can sell lots of dangerous psych drugs.

The UN and WHO have also tested programs where faith communities have proven effectiveness in helping people who suffer “mental health”, while psychiatrists keep asking for more and more funds and legal protection to continue their “research” and experiments into the field of the mind and the spirit.

Despite the lack of results, psychiatry still has an unbalanced power in society and current efforts to flatten the COVID-19 mental health curve have been almost entirely secular, with the excuse of keeping the “separation of church/state”.

This situation goes beyond separation of church and state” says Rosmarin. “Health care professionals falsely disconnect common spiritual behaviors and experiences from science and clinical practice. As a result, we ignore potential spiritual solutions to our mental health crisis, even when our well-being is worse than ever before.”

He explained in his article that his “own research has demonstrated that a belief in God is associated with significantly better treatment outcomes for acute psychiatric patients. And other laboratories have shown a connection between religious belief and the thickness of the brain’s cortex, which may help protect against depression. Of course, belief in God is not a prescription. But these compelling findings warrant further scientific exploration, and patients in distress should certainly have the option to include spirituality in their treatment“.

Countless anecdotes of this nature occurred during a recent year-long clinical trial of SPIRIT that my research team completed with funding from the Bridges Consortium (supported by the John Templeton Foundation). More than 90 percent of patients reported experiencing some kind of benefit, regardless of religious affiliation.” continues Rosmarin.

And to conclude his article, he wrote “It remains to be seen whether God can solve our mental health crisis. But the potential clinical benefits of spirituality, and patients’ desire for spiritual treatments, provide a reason to believe“.

Should then states support citizens and their religious communities so that they can step up in dealing with those who look at religion and religious “therapy” as the answer to their problems? More and more evidence, seem to indicate that it becomes cheaper, safer and more effective, than investing in new psychotropic drug treatments, electroshock, LSD, and even more clear if those psych treatments are given against the will of the people as the Human Rights Council and its Special Rapporteurs have now proven.

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