In 2005 Harold G. Koenig, M.D. published Faith & Mental Health. It happened to be the year before the faith-based support group, Living Room, was founded in 2006. I look forward to re-printing some of the highlights of Dr. Koenig’s book here. Followers of Christ should find his thoughts very interesting.

Harold G. Koenig, M.D. is professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Centre. He is director and founder of Duke’s Centre for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and Health. Dr. Koenig has published extensively in the fields of mental health, geriatrics, and religion. He is editor of the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine.

I will share some of the writings in Chapter 6 on Integrating Religion into Mental Health Treatments.

Could we, the Church, pick up from where the book left off in 2005? I’m hoping that we can bring life back into Dr. Koenig’s thoughts and ideas and put them into effect in our churches today.


“This is particularly true for people undergoing negative life experiences or difficult situations and that includes those with mental or emotional problems. Meaning is important because it provides a sense of purpose and direction for life that gives hope for better times ahead and gives significance to present difficult difficulties. People need renewed purpose and meaning in order to continue to fight the illness and make the efforts necessary to recover and rehabilitate. They need to know that they can still contribute and are still valuable despite their illness and disability. Religious and spiritual beliefs often lie at the core of what gives life purpose and meaning in these circumstances. In the Christian tradition all situations, no matter how difficult, can result in good things. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)”

A note from Marja:

Can we, as fellow Christians, help our brothers and sisters search for ways in which they could contribute to church life? Through your encouragement they might find hope, despite the hard times they’re facing. Even doing small tasks will help them feel better.