Mental Illness and Discourse: The Need for More Education Among Clergy regarding How to Manage Mental Health Needs in their Congregation.

The need for more education amongst clergies who manage mental illness in congregants.


  • Eberechukwu Peace Akadinma York University
  • Mina Singh



Although the church is no longer the frontline of power and decision making in society, statistics show that most people lean on their religious leaders for assistance during a mental illness crisis.

PURPOSE: The purposes of this study are: 1) To add to what is known about mental illness and religion; 2) To explore the current beliefs on mental illness upheld in Christian settings, and 3) To determine the need for education among pastoral staff on how to deal and manage mental illness.

METHOD: Semi- structured interviews were used to obtain information from pastoral staff.

FINDINGS: Although the church is progressing in their understanding of the causes of mental illness, still, pastors are unequipped to deal with mental health crisis. There is need for further education among pastoral staff on how to deal with mental illness as they are unequipped. There is a need for a bridge between religion and psychiatry as bodies of knowledge. Yet again, there is a need for secular-religious collaboration to ensure holistic care for individuals during a mental illness crisis.