One in four Americans suffers from some kind of mental illness in any given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Many look to their church for spiritual guidance in times of distress. But they’re unlikely to find much help on Sunday mornings.
Most Protestant senior pastors (66 percent) seldom speak to their congregation about mental illness.
That includes almost half (49 percent) who rarely (39 percent) or never (10 percent), speak about mental illness. About 1 in 6 pastors (16 percent) speak about mental illness once a year. And about quarter of pastors (22 percent) are reluctant to help those who suffer from acute mental illness because it takes too much time.
Those are among the findings of a recent study of faith and mental illness by Nashville-based LifeWay Research. The study, co-sponsored by Focus on the Family, was designed to help churches better assist those affected by mental illness.
Researchers looked at three groups for the study.
They surveyed 1,000 Protestant senior pastors about how their churches approach mental illness. Researchers then surveyed 355 Protestant Americans diagnosed with an acute mental illness—either moderate or severe depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Among them were 200 church-goers.
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Discussion: 1 in 6 Pastors Will Talk Once a Year About This Subject According to Study was originally published on praisecleveland.com