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How can I go about addressing faith within holistic conversations?

Guidance for dealing with patient and religion

Assessing the importance of religion to the client and their identity

i.e. Try to assess the degree of their religious affiliation (e.g. if they attend church and how often) and whether it has recently changed since the suicide attempt to understand their actions.

Assess the importance of religion to the client’s family/significant others

This is due to their influence and ability to provide support, or on the other hand, to stigmatise and prevent family member from seeking support.

Assess the importance of religion to the client’s identity

Examine how strongly they identify with a religion, which may impact upon their ideas and perceptions of suicide and mental illness.

Assess the role of religiosity during previous times of stress and difficulties’

e.g. Has the client’s religiosity served as a source of comfort or as a coping mechanism in past difficulties? Has the client’s religiosity contributed to their level of distress?

Assess how suicide is conceptualised and perceived in the client’s religion

e.g. Find out interpretations and whether there are any sanctions against suicide, and how this conflict may impact on their faith.

Assess the value of strengthening the client’s religiosity and participation in their religion

For some, increasing religiosity may be protective, but it can also be important to specify which exact elements of the client’s religiosity provide protection. On the other hand, it can be important to specify which factors of their religiosity may cause their distress.

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