In 1990, The Clergy as a Resource for Those Encountering Psychological Distress found that a person under psychological distress will turn to their clergy before talking to a mental health professional.
And with 1 in 5 adults in the US experiencing mental illness each year, you better believe this exists in the church; it is after all, made up of people. The conversation around mental health in the church has brought increasing attention from the public eye, as we’ve witnessed and mourned the recent tragic losses of cherished pastors Jarrid Wilson, Andrew Stoecklein and Jim Howard. No one is immune to the health challenges of the human experience, including believers.
I don’t need a statistic to know these things to be true to my own experience, as well as those I’ve spent time with serving in my local church who returned time and time again with the same hurts, habits and traumas. We often turn to our church community to be both mentally and spiritually refreshed, restored and reminded of truth when lies take root. That is a beautiful thing. Since its foundations, the Church has been commissioned as a community of soul care, spiritual healing and collective outreach.