SPIRITUALITY IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SELF-REFLECT
We at Northwest Passage understand that our youth come from highly varied spiritual backgrounds and that these beliefs, whatever they may be, require our attention and respect as we help our residents explore who they are. Research shows that 90% of the world’s population engages in some manner of spiritual or religious practice and these practices can be a major means of coping with distress. Studies also show that there is a complicated, but generally beneficial interplay between mental health and spiritual belief/practices. At the most basic level, our curiosity and ease in inquiring and exploring this avenue with youth and families can bring comfort in and of itself.
Embracing our Limitations
Spirituality and Mental Health
Science of a Happy Mind
Religion, one Form of Spirit
“CONTEMPLATION ABOUT VALUES AND CORE BELIEFS ALLOWS EXPLORATION OF WHAT MATTERS MOST IN OUR LIVES.”
The PassageWay is grounded in solid research. If you’re interested in learning more about the background of our approach, please dive in and investigate some of the resources we’ve used in developing our guiding principals.
WHAT DOES SPIRITUALITY MEAN TO US?
In focus groups, interviews, and a nationally representative survey, the Fetzer Group listened to people of all spiritual and religious backgrounds share what spirituality means to them, and how it relates to their civic and political engagement. Learn more about what they found here.
LEARNING FOR JUSTICE
Learning for Justice provides free resources to caregivers and educators—teachers, administrators, counselors, and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use the materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children and youth are respected, valued, and welcome participants.
THE MASK YOU LIVE
Identity is a huge part what makes each one of us tick. Dive deep into the notion of understanding who the young men of today in the new film, “The Mask You Live.” The documentary that “follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.”
- “Research shows that compared to girls, boys in the U.S. are more likely to be diagnosed with a behavior disorder, prescribed stimulant medications, fail out of school, binge drink, commit a violent crime, and/or take their own lives.”
- Learn more about the Documentary
A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF RECENT RESEARCH ON ADOLESCENT RELIGIOSITY/SPIRITUALITY AND MENTAL HEALTH
Written by Y. Joel Wong et al. of the University of Texas at Austin, concerning the relationship between being religiously/spiritually engaged and an adolescent, and can be found here: Religiosity and Spirituality
- In the initial findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health, researchers concluded that when adolescents placed a high level of importance on prayer and religion, they also had high levels of self-esteem and low levels of alcohol and cigarette use.
- The vast majority of studies (90%) reported positive findings in the relationships between adolescent R/S [religion/spirituality] and mental health measures. Thus, adolescents who reported higher levels of R/S also were more likely to report having better mental health.
RELIGION, SPIRITUALITY, AND DEPRESSION IN ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRIC OUTPATIENTS
- Among adults greater religiousness has been linked to lower levels of depression, and faster recovery from depressive episodes.
- Lack of forgiveness, perceptions that social interactions with co-congregants are negative, and feelings of being abandoned or punished by God may be associated with the depressive symptoms of guilt, isolation, and pessimism.
- Personality styles that do not feature the use of forgiveness, or personality styles that lead one to feel others (or God) are critical and demanding, may also leading to interpersonal difficulties; interpersonal problems may then contribute to the development of depression.
- If replicated these findings have implications for the treatment of depressed adolescents.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS OF RESEARCH ON RELIGION, SPIRITUALITY, AND MENTAL HEALTH
- Teasing apart positive and negative church-based social interactions has also demonstrated differential and significant effects on depressive symptoms. Positive interactions are associated with fewer depressive symptoms and negative interactions are associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms.
- Religious behaviors that contribute to self-regulation and reducing self-focus and worry while providing a calming effect are positively associated with mental health. Religiously motivated behaviors that increase self-focus and worry are associated with intrusive thoughts, thought control and undoing, and poorer mental health.
- Spiritual, religious, and other factors that enhance coping, decrease physical or emotional stress, decrease risk-taking behaviors, or enhance positive health behaviors may be protective factors against the chronic wear and tear on body systems.
- Notably, psychiatric and medical patients express an interest in having their spiritual needs considered.
- Enhancing physicians’ awareness of the literature and providing the groundwork to consider a balanced approach to RS in mental health is important in this potentially emotionally charged and polarizing field.
HAPPINESS STRATEGIES OF EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE
CENTER FOR HEALTHY MINDS
- Positive Outlook
- Rebounding from Negative Emotion
- Mindfulness and Mind-Wandering
- Caring for Others
In honor of national boost your self-esteem month, here are some tips and things to keep in mind. I encourage you to be your own best friend and to enjoy the process of getting to know, accept and dare I say, love yourself….unconditionally.
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