Black Church Leaders’ Attitudes about Seeking Mental Health Services: Role of Religiosity and Spirituality

By Elizabeth Okunrounmu, Argie Allen-Wilson, Maureen Davey and Adam Davey.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 6, 2016 $US5.00

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.

Keywords: African American, Church Leaders, Mental Health Services, Religiosity, Spirituality

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 6, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.45-55. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 6, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 457.582KB)).

Elizabeth Okunrounmu

Doctoral Student, Couple and Family Therapy Doctoral Program, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Argie Allen-Wilson

Director of Clinical Training, Couple & Family Therapy Department, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Maureen Davey

Associate Professor, Department of Couple and Family Therapy, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Adam Davey

Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA