The local church fails in assisting those with mental illness

Baylor University performed a study on how the churches help those who suffer from mental illness and found that they are not the most helpful places. PsychCentral notes:

churchBaylor University researchers built upon a 2008 study that found nearly a third of those who approached their local church in response to a personal or family member’s previously-diagnosed mental illness were told they really did not have mental illness.

In the new study, investigators discovered individuals experiencing depression and anxiety were dismissed the most often.

It seems that the local church has a long way to go in assisting those who suffer from mental illness. I am very thankful for CCEF that intends to “restore Christ to counseling and counseling to the church.” Here’s a blog post from Tim Lane, executive director of CCEF, in which he provides “four reasons to incorporate counseling into the local church.” And here’s another post by Mr. Lane on guidance for churches seeking outside help for counseling.

5 thoughts on “The local church fails in assisting those with mental illness

  1. When I first started my master’s degree work in school counseling about 10 years ago, I had one lady from my church come up to me and say, “How can you be a Christian and be a counselor? All these kids need is JESUS!”

    Thankfully, she was in the vast minority, but I think her comments do reflect many of the attitudes about mental health in the church today. For many people, it’s strictly a spiritual issue, that if we’re not ok psychologically, we’re somehow not ok spiritually. I’m just not sure how the two go together.

  2. I just got back from Covenant Seminary in St.Louis not too long ago, and their emphasis on counseling is really encouraging. There are good things we can learn from secular psychology, so we don’t need to throw the baby out with the bath-water. I think you would really appreciate Dr. Winters’ style/methods as a good balance. The pastors and counselors coming out of Covenant are well equipped to help the local church.

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