SPIRITUAL CARE FOR
A Message from the Project Founder
Hi! I’m Amy Panton, a Doctoral student studying theology at Emmanuel College which is a part of the Toronto School of Theology and the University of Toronto. My research is on the intersection between spirituality and mental health, especially relating to youth who self-injure. Within my context in Canada, self-injury is on the rise amongst young people. Youth as young as ten years old are engaged in self-injurious behaviours such as cutting themselves, burning their skin and bruising themselves (1). Recent research is also showing that youth in non-western countries are self-injuring at similarly alarming rates to what we are seeing in Canada and the United States (2). I hope that the research I am doing can become a helpful part of the conversation regarding spirituality and mental health.
The main reason why I created this site so I can direct people to a place where helpful resources on self-injury are listed in one place. The biggest concern that I hear from people is that they want to read up on self-injury because a young person in their faith community is hurting themselves, and they can't find much to read on the subject, especially from a theological or faith-based perspective. I have also recently been working steadily at creating some original content such as pastoral care toolkits, role plays that can be used in the seminary classroom, an introductory bibliography on self-injury, and also interviews with adults who used to self-injure.
I appreciate your patience as this site is a work in progress, and I will be adding content slowly as I dream it up and create it. If you aren't sure where to start, check out the resources tab above!
(1) a) Jennifer Bethell and Anne E. Rhodes. “Identifying Deliberate Self-Harm in Emergency Department Data” Statistics Canada: Health Reports, 20 (2009): 37-38. b) Canadian Institute for Health Information. “Intentional self-harm among youth in Canada”, 2014. https://www.cihi.ca/sites/default/files/info_child_harm_en.pdf
(2) a) Maryam Gholamrezaei, Jack De Stefano, and Nancy L. Heath, “Nonsuicidal Self-Injury across Cultures and Ethnic and Racial Minorities: A Review,” International Journal of Psychology 52, no. 4 (2017): 316–26, 319-324. b) Martin A. Monto, Nick McRee, and Frank S. Deryck, “Nonsuicidal Self-Injury Among a Representative Sample of US Adolescents, 2015,” American Journal of Public Health 108, no. 8 (August 2018): 1042–48, 1046.