Religious leaders, too, are more receptive than most think, especially when the good of the faithful are concerned. If any resistance is met, those suffering from mental illness should be firm in the assertion that their affliction is real, biological, and treatable, while still seeking spiritual help and guidance that can aid in the recovery process.

Healing the entire person—body and soul—takes more than one field. When spiritual  and mental health communities combine forces, as Dr. Yamada has found, the benefits are enormous.

Take a Leap of Faith

With 80 percent of adults sampled across California community mental health centers supporting the use of spirituality within mental health programs, it’s only a matter of time before faith becomes a major tool in treating mental illness.

There’s something very human about wanting to believe—spiritualty is a comfort in this way. And so when we integrate it into mental health programs, patients have the opportunity to see their treatment through a new lens. No longer are they just there for treatment—they’re there to enjoy whatever their culture of spirituality might be, and get treated along the way.

Dr. Yamada looks forward to pushing forward with her research endeavors in order to better understand how spiritually-based treatment might be offered at more locations. And if patients and health care providers are willing to take a small leap of faith, the mental health landscape is about to get just a little bit better.