A Lifeway Research study explores US Protestant pastors’ experiences with mental illness and how well their churches are equipped to respond to those who need help.
A majority of pastors (54%) say in the churches where they have served on staff, they have known at least one church member who has been diagnosed with a severe mental illness such as clinical depression, bipolar, or schizophrenia.
Most of those pastors had experience with a small number of members: 18 percent say one or two and another 18 percent say three to five. Fewer pastors say they’ve known 6-10 (8%), 11-20 (5%) or more than 20 (6%). Around a third (34%) say none of their church members have been diagnosed with a severe mental illness, while 12 percent don’t know.
“There is a healthy generational shift occurring as younger and middle-aged pastors are much more likely to have encountered people in church with severe mental illness than the oldest pastors,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research.
Compared to 2014 study, a similar number of pastors in 2022 say they have endured mental illness.
But more pastors today say they’ve been diagnosed.https://t.co/VXr7U6m7pD
— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) August 10, 2022