Tse, S., Lloyd, C., Petchkovsky, L. and Manaia, W. (2005), Exploration of Australian and New Zealand indigenous people’s spirituality and mental health. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 52:, 181-187. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1630.2005.00507.x

Background: Spirituality has been defined as an overarching construct that involves personal beliefs or values that provide a sense of meaning and unity with self, people, nature and universe. Spirituality may be experienced within or outside formal religion. At least in English-speaking countries, therapists reported discussing spiritual issues with service users more frequently than before. In the literature, there continues to be debate regarding definitions of spirituality and how spirituality fits with occupational therapy practice models.

Methods and Results: To advance the discussion, we explore the concept of spirituality among indigenous people of Australia and New Zealand, and use mental health as a practice setting to suggest how occupational therapists can address the spiritual needs of individuals recovering from mental health problems.

Conclusion: The implications for assessment and interventions to improve coping skills, social support, self-esteem and instil hope of recovery from mental illness are considered.