Mental Health Mind Map Podcast Series

Mental Health Mind Map Podcast Series

#Episode 8: How religion affect one’s mental health

In partnership with Calgary Journal Health, CMHA Calgary is publishing podcasts and news stories about mental health issues across the city. Stories will be published every Monday on our Balance Blog, or you can track these stories using the hashtag #CalgaryJournalHealth.

In this Mental Health Mind Map podcast series, three Calgarians from three different faiths share how religion can help and hinder one’s mental health.

By Blaise Kemna, Samantha Lafleur, and Sajan Jabbal

Shelika Joshi, a Hindu woman, is a Recovery Trainer with Canadian Mental Health Association in Calgary.

“I kind of made my own support group of inviting people who have mental illness or mental health concerns but we have faith in God,” Joshi says.

She says managing your own mental health and adhering to a faith tradition can work hand-in-hand.

Rekha Jabbal is a Calgary pharmacist and a Sikh woman. She works firsthand with adolescents to address mental issues.

“It does give me that cultural understanding with some of our patients. But then I also have that evidence-based knowledge to know what may be the right treatment for that young person or adult,” Jabbal says, sharing medical and spiritual insights on mental health and religion.

Mike Ivancic is a Christian pastor in Calgary and sees that religion can have both a positive and negative effect on a person’s mental health. But in the end he thinks it can play an important role in addressing an individual’s struggles without interfering with modern medical practices.

“I think from a faith perspective, it’s to acknowledge the things that we see in science, the things we see around us,” says Ivancic. “But it’s [also] to build on top of that. It’s not mutually exclusive.”