More pastors embrace talk of mental ills

February 06, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The New York Times

Some evangelical Christian leaders in the United States have begun to advocate for a greater acceptance of secular mental health treatment for church members. In addition to the traditional emphasis on turning to faith and the church community to meet emotional challenges, a growing number of pastors and organizational leaders are now publicly encouraging people to seek outside help for some situations. “We need our evangelical leaders to lead by example, to say that not all psychiatric medicine is bad, to have conversations with non-Christian therapists,” said Matt Brogli, a Southern Baptist pastor who is pushing for greater awareness of behavioral health issues in the church. Recent initiatives include the formation of a mental health advisory committee which has issued recommendations for the Southern Baptist Convention, and the improved mental health education for students at an evangelical Christian university.

Spark ExtraYour Life Matters! is an initiative that provides resources for congregations to address mental illness and help prevent suicide.