mental

Clergy Dismiss Mental Illness

Monday, November 10, 2008 by: Laura Weldon
Tags: mental illness, health news, Natural News

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Healthy 12-year-old girl dies shortly after receiving HPV vaccine
The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)
Cannabis dissolves cancerous tumor in young infant, deemed a 'miracle baby' by physician
Ben & Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces
Monsanto's seed imperialism halted in Canada thanks to massive protests
Top ten things you need to do NOW to protect yourself from an uncontrolled Ebola outbreak
FDA targets Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps for sharing health benefits of coconut oil
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
Governments seize colloidal silver being used to treat Ebola patients, says advocate
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises
The 21 curious questions we're never allowed to ask about vaccines
CDC admits it has been lying all along about Ebola transmission; "indirect" spread now acknowledged

Delicious
(NaturalNews) A recent Baylor University study of church members who sought help for a diagnosed mental health problem found the illness was denied or dismissed by a third of the pastors. The church members were instead told that the issue was spiritual in nature.

This study surveyed 293 individuals who approached their pastors for assistance with their own or a family member's mental health problems. These illnesses had been previously diagnosed by licensed mental health professionals as serious disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In 32 percent of the cases the pastor claimed there was no mental illness.

The lead researcher, Matthew Stanford, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University in Texas, was quoted on www.livescience.com as saying, "The results are troubling because it suggests individuals in the local church are either denying or dismissing a somewhat high percentage of mental health diagnosis. Those whose mental illness is dismissed by clergy are not only being told they don't have a mental illness, they are also being told they need to stop taking their medication. That can be a very dangerous thing."

Untreated, mental health problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder tend to increase in severity.

The research, published in the journal Mental Health, Religion and Culture , was limited to Christian churches. It found that women were more likely to have their mental health symptoms dismissed by clergy than men.

A follow-up study indicated that dismissal or denial of mental illness was more prevalent in conservative churches, less so in liberal churches.

The study's implications are troubling, since clergy are often the first person their parishioners seek out for a wide range of problems. People are more likely to turn to clergy, not mental health professionals, particularly when experiencing psychological distress. In fact, it's a cultural norm to do so in many parts of the country.

Numerous studies conducted in the past have shown that nearly half of people with mental health symptoms seek help from clergy at some point. The National Institute of Mental Health reported in 1993 that individuals with disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders requested assistance from clergy more often than from psychologists and psychiatrists combined.

Pastoral education in mental health is on the rise, particularly in mainstream denominations. Research shows that when members of the clergy have up-to-date mental health training and are aware of the services available in the community, appropriate referrals increase. Collaborative efforts between clergy and mental health professionals are the focus, making spiritual as well as mental health a top priority.

About the author

Laura Weldon lives on an organic farm and believes in bliss. Learn more about her book "Free Range Learning" by visiting at www.lauragraceweldon.com

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.