Spirituality is defined here as “a search for the sacred” (Pargament et al., 2013). The sacred includes not only various understandings of God or the divine, but also aspects of life that are experienced as divine-like, or transcending the self, such as nature, love, or beauty.
Religion is defined here as “the search for significance that occurs within the context of established institutions that are primarily designed to facilitate spirituality” (Pargament et al., 2013) through a shared set of beliefs and practices.
While these terms are distinct, we use both terms together to capture their overlap with regards to significant beliefs, practices, experiences, or relationships that facilitate the search for the sacred.
Mental health: a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community (World Health Organization, 2014).
Mental health problems: significant difficulties in one’s thinking, emotion, and/or behavior that result in being unable to cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, or make contributions to his/her community.