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HPH Weekly: Why are spirituality and health not linked in public health?

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Written by
Jo Zhou
April 11, 2024
Read Time
2 min

This edition of Harvard Public Health Weekly was sent to our subscribers on April 11, 2024. If you don’t already receive the newsletter, subscribe here. To see more past newsletters, visit our archives.

Why are spirituality and health not linked in public health?

Illustration: A crowd of people silhouetted by a warm sky, filled with similar colors.
Source images: Leontura / iStock, Chainarong Prasertthai / iStock

Tyler VanderWeele, an expert on flourishing, is back in HPH this week with a plea to public health leaders: Don’t ignore the research demonstrating the positive health effects of spirituality. “It is time for the neglect of religion in public health conversations to change,” he writes.

Exploring the connection between music and mental health

Kent Dayton

Our Public Health in Action series features the clubhouse model for treating mental illness, and this week, we look at a musical take on the model. Tunefoolery, a Boston-based nonprofit, provides paid musical gigs for people who have experienced mental illness and other mental distress.

Filling a gap in mental health care for Minnesota’s migrant workers

Matthias Mitterlehner / Unsplash

Experts say many migrant workers work harsh jobs that leave little time for recreation or community connection, leading to mental health challenges. A possible solution? The Bienvenido program, which aims to provide support for Latino workers in rural Minnesota, who are isolated and far from home.

What we’re reading this week

Insurers reap hidden fees by slashing payments. You may get the bill. →
The New York Times

The time has come for over-the-counter antidepressants →

Do ‘griefbots’ help mourners deal with loss? →

How unfamiliar fish are helping Mainers fight food insecurity →
Reasons to be Cheerful

Free school meals for all may reduce childhood obesity →
The Conversation

Filed Under
Jo Zhou
Jo Zhou is the social media manager and audience engagement specialist at Harvard Public Health. Read more from Jo Zhou.