Jump directly to the content
What Pastors Need to Know About Mental Health, Ministry, and Liability
What Pastors Need to Know About Mental Health, Ministry, and Liability
How both legal experts and ministry leaders approach mental health issues in the church.

That’s because some evidence suggests that when people seek help for a mental health issue, they may be more likely to seek out clergy, rather than medical professionals like physicians or even licensed therapists.

If pastors are as likely to be asked for help as mental health professionals—or perhaps even more likely—then a crucial question arises: are churches and church leaders equipped to handle this issue?

Unfortunately, many aren’t.

“We did a study of seminaries to see what kinds of mental health training pastors get,” says Stanford. The results were not encouraging: “it’s next to zero.”

So what training do pastors receive in seminary for these issues? “Most get one counseling course, and those focus more on family and marriage issues,” says Stanford. “When we do surveys of pastors, a vast majority—80 to 90 percent—say that they feel ill-equipped to deal with people with mental illness.” Considering the “next to zero” training for pastors in this area, that’s not too surprising.

What’s stopping the church?

Mental health is a complicated field, one that is foreign to much of the general population. And it’s seldom talked about publicly, even in churches: places meant for depth and healing. But mental health professionals have said that churches’ avoidance of these issues has recently started to change.

Article Preview

This article is currently available to ChurchLawAndTax.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

Posted:
May 30, 2017
View All
from our store
Managing the Legal Risks of Lay Counseling

Managing the Legal Risks of Lay Counseling

Develop specific policies and procedures that protect your church, lay caregivers, and those who receive care.
Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability

Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability

What these documents do—and don't do—based on statutes and court decisions made nationwide.
Politics and the Church

Politics and the Church

Tax and legal guidelines faith-based organizations need to know before jumping into the political fray.
Church Board Guide to Developing a Risk Management Strategy

Church Board Guide to Developing a Risk Management Strategy

Learn why it is essential your church develop a risk management strategy and how to implement the strategy in your church.
ChurchSalary

Receive a customized salary report for up to 15 different ministry positions. Learn how your church should compensate based on size, budget, location, and employee work experience.