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Spirituality, religion and mental health in young people

Dr Michael Dudley

Historically spirituality/religion and psychiatry/psychology have been at odds in the modern West, and spirituality/religion continues to be largely invisible in psychological and psychiatric research and practice. This situation needs amendment. Culture and spirituality are central to understanding the psychological causes of illness, its manifestation, its natural history, and as potential protective factors.

Conflict of Interest: None disclosed
Financial Support/Funding: None disclosed
Recorded: Sydney, Australia, May 2008

Michael Dudley
Michael Dudley
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Dr Michael Dudley


Dr Michael Dudley works as a psychiatrist at Prince of Wales and Sydney Children’s Hospitals, and is a conjoint senior lecturer in psychiatry at the University of New South Wales. He has a long-standing clinical, public health and research interest in suicide, self-harm and depression in young people. With colleagues, Dr Dudley is researching risk and protective factors for suicide and attempted suicide in metropolitan and rural young adults, and the relationship of antidepressants, suicide and attempted suicide in young people. He has an ongoing clinical and research interest in indigenous suicide.

Dr Dudley is on the Advisory Board of Inspire Foundation’s ‘Reach Out!’ Program and is involved in the development of Reach Out Pro, an internet site for health professionals working with young people. He is also involved in refugee mental health clinical work, teaching, research and advocacy, and is co-editing a book on Mental Health and Human Rights for Oxford University Press. Dr Dudley also chairs Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA), the national independent advocate for suicide prevention.


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