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December 2013
Religion, Spirituality and Mental Health

The religious, philosophical and spiritual dimensions of Compassion and Caring virtues are getting squeezed out in the health care systems.Prof. Srinivasa Murthy and his group started the compilation of NARRATIVES of spirituality being part of the care giving, receiving experience that show the place of religion/spirituality in the grief period.They developed a course on ‘Improving skills with regard to religion and spirituality’ to present at the WASP World Congress in Lisbon in 2013.

Prof. Nahla Nagy prepared an oral presentation about ‘Psychiatric Disorders after the Egyptian Spring Revolution’ in the symposium of Mental Health and the Middle East Conflicts chaired by Federico Allodi in collaboration with the WPA Section on Psychological Consequences of Torture and Persecution in the WASP World Congress in Lisbon 2013.This is in addition to the section workshop chaired by Peter Verhagen.

The Section will organize a workshop introducing religion and spirituality curricula in the psychiatry residency programme in Vienna in 2013 chaired by Profs. Nahla Nagy and Peter Verhagen.

Prof. John Cox gave a seminar in Uppsala about the The Swedish Impact project considered to be a rich source of research over the coming years. He is planning with Valerie de Marinis to have a joint Symposium with the Public Health Section in Madrid in 2014.

Also, the Section is working together with the Section on Transcultural Psychiatry on a one-day Symposium at the World Congress in Madrid in 2014.

Prof. Alexander Moreira-Almeida published a paper in the Journal of Bipolar Disorder 2013 titled ‘Religiosity, mood symptoms, and quality of life in bipolar disorder’ discussing intrinsic religiosity and positive religious coping found to be strongly associated with fewer depressive symptoms and improved quality of life. Negative religious coping is associated with worse quality of life. He concluded that religiosity is a relevant aspect of patients’ lives and should be taken into consideration by physicians when assessing and managing bipolar disorder patients.

Nahla Nagy
Secretary, WPA Section on Religion, Spirituality and Mental Health

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