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chapterposted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by M De Souza, Anna HalafoffAnna Halafoff
© 2018 selection and editorial matter, Marian de Souza and Anna Halafoff; individual chapters, the contributors. Our planet and societies are currently facing numerous pressures and tensions linked to globalisation, neo-liberal capitalism and environmental crises. In these times of insecurity and significant social change, a disturbing and growing number of young people and children are suffering from depression and other mental health conditions, including anxiety, self-harm and suicidal behaviour. Another, and related, area of concern is the rise in incidents of discrimination, racism and xenophobia internationally. The use of social media and proliferation of fake news has intensified all of these issues. A new generation has grown up in a climate of fear, and against this backdrop of divisiveness and hostility to the so-called Other. This context places particular stresses on children and young people from minority groups, and on the broader community. These concerns have led many to question how best to address these issues, and to foster inclusive and compassionate communities, where young people feel a sense of belonging, meaning and purpose, in our increasingly globalised and interconnected world.1 They have also stimulated the need to address the wellbeing of children and young people, in educational as well as other settings. One dimension of wellbeing is spiritual wellbeing, although this term is little understood, and viewed with some trepidation, especially in secular contexts.