The effects of mental illness on families within faith communities

Edward B. Rogers, Matthew Stanford, Diana R. Garland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examined the experiences and values of families caring for a mentally ill loved one within the context of a Christian faith community. Participants (n = 5899) in 24 churches representing four Protestant denominations completed a survey describing their family's stresses, strengths, faith practices, and desires for assistance from the congregation. Results showed mental illness in 27% of families, with those families reporting twice as many stressors on average. In addition, families with mental illness scored lower on measures of family strength and faith practices. Analysis of desires for assistance found that help with mental illness was a priority for those families affected by it, but ignored by others in the congregation. These results suggest that mental illness is not only prevalent in church communities, but is accompanied by significant distress that often goes unnoticed. Partnerships between mental health providers and congregations may help to raise awareness in the church community and simultaneously offer assistance to struggling families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-313
Number of pages13
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Keywords

  • faith
  • family stress
  • mental illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of mental illness on families within faith communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this