Spirituality and Employment in Recovery from Severe and Persistent Mental Illness and Psychological Well-Being

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People diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) face multiple vulnerabilities, including when seeking employment. Among SPMI patients, studies show that a stronger sense of spirituality can help to reduce psychotic symptoms, increase social integration, reduce the risk of suicide attempts and promote adherence to psychiatric treatment. This study examined how the variables spirituality and employment affect the recovery process and psychological well-being of people with SPMI who attend employment recovery services. The sample consisted of 64 women and men diagnosed with an SPMI. The assessment instruments included the Recovery Assessment Scale, Ryff Psychological Well-Being Scale, Work Motivation Questionnaire, Daily Spiritual Experience Scale, and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy—Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-Sp12). Hierarchical regression analyses were performed to compare three different models for each dependent variable (recovery and psychological well-being). The findings showed that job skills predicted psychological well-being and recovery. When spiritual variables were included in the model, job skills dropped out and the dimension meaning/peace of the FACIT-Sp12 emerged as the only significant predictor variable. Integrating spirituality into recovery programs for people with SPMI may be a helpful complement to facilitate the recovery process and improve psychological well-being.
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