Religious Americans are only group whose mental health improved during coronavirus pandemic

We have evidence from study after study of the beneficial effects of religious faith on one’s physical and mental health.

Here’s the latest.

In “Psychiatry Needs to Get Right with God,” for Scientific American, June 15, 2021, David H. Rosmarin, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the McLean Hospital Spirituality & Mental Health Program, writes:

In the past year, American mental health 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 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. […]

My 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.


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Gracie Storvika
Gracie Storvika
6 months ago

What a marvelous phenomenon to have all these wonderful benefits to living our lives in tune with Our God. Thank you for reminding us.

6 months ago

I did not attend zoom church, but I did study a weekly Bible verse kept in the bathroom where I prepared for the day ahead. One thing this pandemic taught me as a distance “zoom” teacher was the true meaning of “let go and let God.” I just had to prepare what I could to reach my students, and then, let them respond in the way that they could. My evaluations of their work was not based on my “old ways,” but on the way that we could communicate with each other with the tools at hand. All this turned my teaching world upside-down. Some of my best students became failures, and some of my least able students became shining successes. It all hinged on whether the student was resilient enough in the face of adversity to soldier on and succeed on a new and never-before-experienced- level. Resilience, it seems to me through this year, is in short supply, which we’d already seen in the “Pajama Boy” and the college “safe places” and so on…..And, I’ve come to think of it as an ingredient that we used to give our children as parents, and as teachers, but is in short supply just now. This does not bode well for any of us, nor our future as a nation.

6 months ago

Thank you Dr.E for this interesting and relevant post. Our faith in God, manifested during religious services, and shared with one another, builds up the mystical body of Christ, which gives us strength and endurance.