Faith and healing: Tying prayer to your mental health journey

MHA Admin

Fri, 09/30/2022 – 10:55

By Katie Lee, MHA Deputy Director of Communications

An individual’s faith and religion need not be isolated from their mental health journey and recovery. While researchers continue to study the pros and cons of religion on mental health, we know of some mental health positives from faith and spiritual practices, including a sense of community, connection to the larger world, hope, and purpose.

On this National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding, marked every year on the Tuesday of Mental Illness Awareness Week, two faith leaders share ways to connect spirituality and religion to better mental health — one offers a prayer and an affirmation, while the other explains how we can effectively meditate. Don’t be discouraged if you want to try prayer but don’t participate in organized religion or don’t know any formal ways to pray. You can use the following as guides to get you started, look at how religious texts talk about emotions and worries, or simply take a quiet moment to think and reflect on mental health as a broader concept.

* * *

Alejandra Purple Liera, Traditional Indigenous Healing Prayer


Today I raise my prayer that we remember our collective power. That by supporting each other we do not lose anything, we only gain. Let us remember our sacredness. May we remember that we carry the strength of our ancestors, we carry medicine.

Our purpose on this earth is to share our light, to bring to life our prayers. Don’t leave this world without sharing your magic, without sharing your light.

When we move to the direction of our soul, when we tap into our inner fire, when we speak up, and see the strength we carry within, it opens up new possibilities and pushes us forward.

Not only have we been here in the struggle, we have been here in the light.

Affirmations for liberation

My body is a safe space. Every cell in my body is filled with joy, abundance, tenderness, and gratitude.

I give light to my dreams, I give light to all the things that bring me joy.

I reclaim my right to thrive. Joy is my birthright. Rest is my birthright.

I wake up each day honoring my truth. I am safe.

I step into my power with confidence. It is my birthright to take up space.

Liera is an educator, activist, healer, and community organizer.  She is the founder of the WOC Sister Collective, which offers a wide variety of BIWOC-focused events, circles, and workshops that educate, motivate, and empower women in our community.

* * *

Gen Kelsang Demo, Buddhist teacher

Using meditation

Mental health is of key importance in our ability to be happy and free from mental pain and problems.

Happiness and suffering are states of mind, so their main causes lie within the mind. If we want to be truly happy and free from suffering, we must learn how to control the mind.

The real source of happiness is inner peace. If our mind is peaceful, we will be happy all the time, regardless of external conditions, but if it is disturbed or troubled in any way, we will never be happy no matter how good our external conditions may be. External conditions can only make us happy if our mind is peaceful.

One method to develop and maintain a special experience of inner peace is by using meditation. Meditation is a method to familiarize our mind with virtue, the main cause of inner peace. There are many different types of meditation we can train in. One type we can use to transform our problems and pain into mental peace is meditation on compassion. We can use our experience of suffering and recall how many others are struggling in the same way.

We can then transform our mind into the compassionate wish, “May everyone be free from suffering,” and hold that wish single pointedly, first for one minute, then two, until we can maintain concentration on this compassionate wish for as long as we want. In this way, we take our suffering and use it to transform our mind into a positive, confident, and courageous mind of altruism.

This is just one example of how we can use meditation as a tool to solve our problems, improve our good qualities, and increase the cause of happiness – inner peace.

Demo is the Midwestern U.S. National Spiritual Director and the Resident Teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center Washington, D.C. She has been teaching Kadampa Buddhism since 1998.


The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will house a “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center, that will provide case management, mental health community advocacy, and oversight from the M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocates. 
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will offer patrons access to immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
Our goal is to help people in the best way possible in an effort to preserve and to save more lives in the Nation’s Capital and beyond.

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Code Red
Gunshot Victim
Life Threatening Wounds
Physical Assault Victim
Severely Injured Auto Accident Victim
Burn Victim
Choking & Breathing Obstructions
and more…


Child Sex Assault Victim
Domestic Violence Victim
Drug Overdose
Rape/Sex Crime Victim
Suicide Watch
Trafficking Victim
Nervous Breakdown
and more…

Mental Health

At Capital City Emergency Trauma & Wellness Center patrons with mental health emergencies that include life threatening situations in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function or is otherwise distraught and out of control, will have access to quality and psychiatric emergency services and referrals.

Physical Health

Whether your life threatening medical emergency involves excessive or uncontrollable bleeding, head injury. difficulty with breathing, severe pain, heart attack, vision impairments, stroke, physically collapsing, or seizure related, rest assured that our professionals will properly assess and evaluate the level of response that will be most needed to help provide stabilized care solutions and minimize complications as well as reduce early mortality.

Holistic Healthcare

We offer healthcare solutions that will support the whole person which includes their physical, psychological, emotional, social, & spiritual wellbeing. Research supports that because your mental state can affect your overall health we support and offer the inclusion of complimentary and alternative medicine(CAM) practitioners and naturopathic doctor recommendations and referrals as a part of our Outreach Community Resource Center’s care regimen and support.


Emergency care can typically result in traumatic injuries for which rehabilitation becomes an essential component of care in trying to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the patient. In addition to speeding up recovery times and helping to prevent further complications, rehabilitative care also helps to support a patient’s self-managed recovery once discharged from our facility. Our Outreach Community Resource Center works closely with our trauma center’s discharge department to assure that patrons requiring these services are linked with qualified professionals who will be accountable to the standard of care required to help the patron be successful in their recovery.

Social Services

Our “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center intends to promote “expansive” beneficial community enriching services, programs, case management, & linkage to “approved” partner resources and supports in all of the following intended areas and more:

Social Services

  • Clothing
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing/Shelter
  • I.D. Credentials
  • Senior Wellness Check
  • Toiletries
  • Transportation
  • Etc.

Extended Family Services

  • Child Care
  • Credit Counseling
  • Family Court Services
  • Legal Aide

Career Training

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Computer/Graphics Training
  • Culinary Program  
  • GED Courses
  • Hospitality Training
  • Job Etiquette & Grooming
  • Resume’ Prep
  • Sales Training
  • Software/Technology workshops
  • Small Business Training

Return Citizen
Program Partner
(Bridging the Gap)

  • Case Management
  • Temporary Boarding/Housing
  • Transitional Program Registration

Prevention/Intervention Outreach,
Workshops, & Programs

  • After-school Behavioral Health Program
  • Civic Engagement / Volunteer Sign-up
  • Fatherhood Rites of Passage
  • Gun Violence Town Hall Forum
  • Life Coaching & Coping Strategies
  • Marriage Counseling Workshops
  • Medicare Informational Workshops
  • Mentorship Training
  • Parental Classes
  • Support Groups
  • Town Hall Discussions
  • Violence De-Escalation Training
  • Voter Registration

Nutritional Outreach

  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Dietary Programs
  • Exercise Classes
  • Recipe Sharing Workshops
  • Meal Prep

Community Outreach

The Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition is partnering with the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health advocacy organization to provide outreach services on the community level as an aid in reducing the existent health inequities that many District citizens are facing as a direct result of the presence of debilitating social determinants and the lack of culturally appropriate care choices and realities for community members residing in marginalized and lower-income communities.

It is the vision and intentions of the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health Advocates organization to help improve the quality of living for citizens living in our Nation’s Capital and beyond by overseeing the delicate linkage to services and by maintaining higher standards of care accountability for deserving citizens of the Nation’s Capital.

For more information or to enroll as one of our service providers, please email us at: