“Mental Health Awakening” Proposes a Systems Change

The Foundation for Energy Therapies, IncIt’s time to expand mental healthcare to include spirituality as a dynamic component of diagnosis and care.   Our new video series will reveal details of a system that has been cultivated in Brazil for more than 120 years—a system that has been very successful in Brazil and spawned 50 special psychiatric Hospitals there.

This film series will contribute to a systems change in psychological, psychiatric, pastoral, and peer support services.  It will stimulate discussion of how components of Spiritist care can improve mental healthcare outside Brazil.  Spiritist Therapies appeal to all people and are ecumenical—never demanding membership to any religion or denying anyone’s unique philosophy of life or culture.

Format & Professional Standards

We are creating 7 short videos.  These are distinct chapters in “Mental Health Awakening.”  They can be viewed together or separately.

  • Four are 3+ minute interviews of healthcare providers who point out how Spiritist therapies can improve systems at home in the USA, AU, and Canada.
  • Three other videos last about 10 minutes each and take the viewer on a tour of a Spiritist Psychiatric Hospital and into the typically very private meeting rooms of the healers and medical intuitives who work with patients.  These healers and medical intuitives have trained for many years and are a model of teamwork.  The viewer watches their work and listens to them answering questions posted by healthcare providers.

Mental Health Awakening is narrated by Drs. Dagmar Ramos, a Brazilian psychiatrist, and Emma Bragdon, a North American-trained psychologist. Mental Health Awakening explores all of the components of Spiritist Therapies on location in Brazil.  The footage was created by the producers of the film Crazywise when they documented a week-long seminar led by Dr. Bragdon in Brazil.  Given the excellent technical quality of the footage, combined with post-production by Bclip, the final videos will be of the highest professional standard, appropriate to show in classrooms, community centers, and professional presentations on location and online.

These new videos will surprise, expand, and delight. For further study the new videos can be accompanied by reading two of Dr. Bragdon’s books, “Spiritism and Mental Health” and “Kardec’s Spiritism”, and viewing a previous 30-minute documentary, Spiritism: Bridging Spirituality and Health, that depicts Spiritism both in Brazil and in the USA.  The film, Crazywise, can also be a companion film to stimulate discussion about the need for expanding mental healthcare to include spiritual emergence (the process of spiritual awakening leading to evolution).

Why “Mental Health Awakening” Now?

Research shows that those with allegiance to spiritual practice have better mental health and better coping skills; whereas those who have no such spiritual expression have more negative mental health.  Still the education for healthcare providers rarely includes training in spiritual assessment, education about spiritual practices that are beneficial for mental health, and how to incorporate spirituality into healthcare.

In growing numbers, people are experiencing “Spiritual Emergence”. This can be a manageable, enriching, and exciting process. But sometimes these experiences punch through the fabric of our worldview, creating a temporary but intense crisis called “spiritual emergency.”  We need to educate the public so that each person might have the opportunity to recognize their process for the gift that it is, reach into affirming channels for support, understand the emergence as a marker of  development, and become empowered to benefit from it.

Our Goals:

  1. To help transform the mental healthcare system by revealing an effective model of an integrative approach. The Spiritist approach dynamically includes spiritual growth, also known as spiritual emergence, as foundational to wellbeing. An integrative paradigm to mental health assessment and care honors body, mind, spirit, and healthy social connection.
  2. To help prevent suicide by providing context and direction to all age-groups, but especially to young adults who are most at risk for self-harm. 

Our Team:

Emma Bragdon, PhDEmma Bragdon, PhD is the Exec. Director of IMHU and the President of its Board of Directors.  She is the Executive Producer.  She wrote two of the first books published about Spiritual Emergency in 1988 and 1990.  She has trained 70+ Spiritual Emergence Coaches through IMHU since 2015.  She is also the author of 5 other books and co-producer of two documentary films on the bridge between spirituality and health and a special expert on Spiritism in Brazil.

mental health awakening

Marikka Malm is a Spiritual Emergence Coach and a Life Coach. Marikka has been working alongside behavioral health professionals  for 12 years as a Certified Peer Support Specialist. She is assisting us with crowdfunding and social media. Check out IMHU’s instagram which she manages here.

Our Advisory Board for Mental Health Awakening includes:

*Phil Borges, Co-producer of “Crazywise”, TED talk presenter on “Psychosis or Spiritual Awakening.”

*Meg Jordan, PhD, RN, Professor and Dept. Chair, Integrative Health Studies, School of Professional Psychology and Health at CIIS. Past co-President of the Leadership Council of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine. Dr. Jordan will oversee students at California Institute of Integral Studies who will measure the success of our project and publish the results in collaboration with Project Leaders.

*David Lukoff, PhD Professor emeritus, Sophia University. Director online education for healthcare providers to increase competency working with spiritual issues, SpiritualCompetency.com. Co-author of seminal article that encouraged editors of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) to include a diagnostic category for “Religious or Spiritual Problem.”

*Lila Massoumi, MD, Chair of the Caucus on Complementary, Alternative, & Integrative Medicine at the American Psychiatric Association.

*Cassandra Vieten, PhD, President and CEO of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Co-Author, Spiritual and Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice: Guidelines for Psychotherapists and Mental Health Professionals, 2015.

*Craig Wagner, Former marketing executive for Hewlett Packard. Author of Choices in Recovery: 27 Non-drug Approaches for Adult Mental Health-an Evidence-Based Guide, 2016.

Funding Needed:

This project will cost approximately $15,000 USD.  Crowdrise, the IMHU donation site, is currently dedicated to funding this project.

mental health awakening

if you would like to help get Mental Health Awakening off the ground.  Please make a donation on our secure site today! Your donation is fully tax-deductible in the USA, as well.

We also have gifts to give YOU when you contributeClick HERE to SEE

We welcome any size donation–We can’t do this alone!  Join us by contributing to this transformative undertaking!  Click on the button to the left to donate.

Thank you!

Emma Bragdon, PhD
Executive Director of IMHU.org