Perceptions of serious mental illness in the local church

Matthew S. Stanford, Kandace McAlister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The present study was undertaken to assess the perceptions encountered in the local church by individuals diagnosed with a mental disorder. Participants (n = 85) were self-identified, mentally ill Christians who responded to an anonymous online survey. Analysis of the data found that the church had dismissed the diagnoses of a significantly large number of the study participants (41.2%). Participants who were told that they did not have a mental illness were more likely to: 1) attend church more than once a week and to 2) describe their church as conservative, and/or 3) charismatic ("Spirit-filled"). Future efforts to bring the mental health and faith communities together must focus more on the specific conservative and charismatic doctrinal issues that presently limit such collaborations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-153
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Religion, Disability and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Charismatic
  • Mental health
  • Religious beliefs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Religious studies
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceptions of serious mental illness in the local church'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this