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Faith and mental health care

A 2008 Gallup poll found that 78 percent of respondents expressed a belief in God, 15 percent expressed a belief in a higher power and only 6 percent said they didn’t believe in either.

The discussion of religion or spirituality is often missing from mental health treatment. People may be afraid to discuss religious experiences with their mental health care providers for fear that their mental state might be misinterpreted. Doctors and therapists may be uncertain about how to respond. Some may be reluctant to bring up matters of faith, especially those in government-funded programs.

But for some people seeking mental health treatment, issues of faith are an important part of their experience. They may feel anger at God for their suffering or they may wonder if God forgives them for things they’ve done. They may thank God for their survival of their mental illness.

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