Motion S4M-13903: Mental Health & Religion

06 Aug 2015

That the Parliament notes the findings of a study by the Erasmus University Medical Centre (Erasmus MC) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), which found that joining a religious organisation is more beneficial than charity work, sport or education in improving older people’s mental health; understands that, in a study of 9,000 Europeans aged 50+ over a four-year period, researchers looked at different levels of social activity and how they influenced people’s moods; notes that the LSE epidemiologist, Dr Mauricio Avendano, said that the only activity associated with sustained happiness was attending a church, synagogue or mosque; further notes that he is quoted as saying “The church appears to play a very important social role in keeping depression at bay and also as a coping mechanism during periods of illness in later life. It is not clear to us how much this is about religion per se, or whether it may be about the sense of belonging and not being socially isolated”; considers that religion is a very positive aspect of modern Scotland, and looks forward to an increasingly positive relationship between the Parliament and religion.