Mental health and spirituality are factors that affect our daily lives. Our community has longed viewed spirituality and a relationship to God as the sole answer for dealing with difficult times. However, I am a firm believer that faith without works is dead. Mental health and spirituality share a close relationship. Hence, the push in recent years to include spirituality in therapy. Clinicians are ethically bound to address cultural concerns that affect clients. Spirituality does not relate to religion – which is institution based – but focuses on the broader understanding that humans are spiritual beings and possess a soul that is connected to the larger universe.
In the Black community, spirituality has long been a crucial part of our lives. Our spirituality connects us to our ancestors and to God. Spirituality has helped past generations overcome severe traumas. Our connections with God have been used as reasons as to why we do not need to seek any further assistance. However, spirituality is a holistic experience that should factor into all areas of our lives as it affects how we view ourselves, and our connections to others and the world-at-large. In addition, it is not that our ancestors did not have mental health issues, these issues would be undiagnosed due to past mental health misconceptions as well as lack of access to supportive services.It is not that our ancestors did not have mental health issues, these issues would be undiagnosed due to past mental health misconceptions Click To Tweet
Spirituality operates on faith. Faith in something bigger than ourselves. Faith in understanding that much of life is built on unseen principles that govern our world. It is easy to just rely on faith for changes and just as easy to say that God is not present in our lives when we don’t get our desired results. This removes any control from us personally and places it solely on God. But belief in the principle of connectedness highlights that each person has a place and a contribution to make. God gives us freewill to make choices about our lives. These principles demonstrate that God wants us to play an active role in our own lives and we cannot do this solely by faith.