Black Church Leaders’ Attitudes about Seeking Mental Health Services

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  • Title: Black Church Leaders’ Attitudes about Seeking Mental Health Services: Role of Religiosity and Spirituality
  • Author(s): Elizabeth Okunrounmu, Argie Allen-Wilson, Maureen Davey, Adam Davey
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Religion in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society
  • Keywords: African American, Church Leaders, Mental Health Services, Religiosity, Spirituality
  • Volume: 6
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2016
  • ISSN: 2154-8633 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8641 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2154-8633/CGP/v06i04/45-55
  • Citation: Okunrounmu, Elizabeth, Argie Allen-Wilson, Maureen Davey, and Adam Davey. 2016. "Black Church Leaders’ Attitudes about Seeking Mental Health Services: Role of Religiosity and Spirituality ." The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society 6 (4): 45-55. doi:10.18848/2154-8633/CGP/v06i04/45-55.

Abstract

Black church leaders are often first responders to mental health issues in the African American community, yet few have examined their views. We surveyed 112 church leaders in a Baptist Black mega-church (twenty-two associate pastors, thirty-four deacons, and fifty-six congregation care givers) using the National Survey of American Life to examine how religiosity is associated with attitudes about seeking mental health services. Church leaders who were more religious and who reported attending church more often tended to not seek out formal mental health services. Clinical providers and Black churches should develop collaborative partnerships to better meet the needs of this community.