Mental health support rated as good yet many churches unaware
Churchgoers who had sought or received treatment for a mental health issue in the last 2 years, were asked to rate the support they received from their church in regard to their mental health.
Some 14% of respondents rated their local church's support as excellent, 23% rated it as good and 11% as adequate. Nearly half (46%) said their church was unaware of the state of their mental health.
Research findings from the 2016 NCLS reveal that some 17%, or one in six, church attenders had sought or received treatment for a mental health issue in the last 2 years.
Those attenders who had sought or received mental health treatment, were asked to rate the support they received from their local church, in regard to their mental health.
Some 37% gave a favourable rating of the support they received from their church, with 14% rating it as excellent and 23% as good. Around one in ten, 11%, rated the support from their church as adequate.
Also telling, is the rate of respondents who said their church was unaware of the state of their mental health. Nearly half of attenders who had received treatment for a mental health issue in the last 2 years said their church was unaware of it. For many attenders experiencing problems with their mental health, it may not be relevant that their church knows of it and that their privacy is respected. For others, it may be the case that their local church congregation could provide valuable support.
In offering welcome to people with disabilities and health issues, many churches are actively engaged in being a place of inclusion and provision. Staff training and statements of commitment are also seen amongst Australian churches. Related information on these provisions and commitments are available in the articles below, and in the research paper 'Disability, inclusion, provision and care in churches'.
Gan, C. Pepper, M. & Powell, R. (2018). Disability Inclusion, Provision and Care among Local Churches in Australia. NCLS Research Occasional Paper 29. Sydney: NCLS Research.
Pepper, M., Powell, R., & Hancock, N. (2017). Commissioned Report No. 2017.04: Disability Inclusion – Church Attender Views and Experiences. Sydney: NCLS Research.
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