Start Date

20-5-2011

Description

Findings from the National Comorbidity Survey indicated that clergy were the first treatment contact for individuals seeking mental health care. However, recent research indicated that 71% of clergy felt inadequately trained to recognize mental illness symptoms. There is a gap in the literature regarding the mental health information needs of clergy. This study investigated the information gap(s), resources commonly utilized, the barriers to finding information, the clergy’s use of technology, and the format of information and education that would be most useful. The study results will be used to develop an outreach strategy to inform local clergy about mental health disorders. Methods: A survey consisting of qualitative and quantitative questions was sent out to clergy. Forty clergy at 144 houses of worship in Portage County, Ohio were randomly selected to receive the survey, and 19 surveys (48% return rate) were returned. Frequencies were calculated for multiple choice questions and mean scores and standard deviations were computed for Likert scale questions. Thematic analysis was utilized to examine open ended questions. Results: Participants indicated that they are interested in learning about mental health information, specifically general mental health information and treatment options. Their biggest challenges are identifying mental health professionals in general and identifying mental health professionals who share the same religious beliefs. Participants have access to computers and feel comfortable using technology. Finally, participants prefer handouts and lecture to learn about mental health information. Conclusion: Results indicate that providing education to assist clergy in identifying treatment options and treatment information, along with providing general information about mental health may be helpful with not only increasing clergy knowledge of mental health symptoms, but also increase comfort level with, and readiness to, facilitate referrals to appropriate resources.

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May 20th, 12:00 AM

Exploring the Mental Health Information Needs of Clergy

Findings from the National Comorbidity Survey indicated that clergy were the first treatment contact for individuals seeking mental health care. However, recent research indicated that 71% of clergy felt inadequately trained to recognize mental illness symptoms. There is a gap in the literature regarding the mental health information needs of clergy. This study investigated the information gap(s), resources commonly utilized, the barriers to finding information, the clergy’s use of technology, and the format of information and education that would be most useful. The study results will be used to develop an outreach strategy to inform local clergy about mental health disorders. Methods: A survey consisting of qualitative and quantitative questions was sent out to clergy. Forty clergy at 144 houses of worship in Portage County, Ohio were randomly selected to receive the survey, and 19 surveys (48% return rate) were returned. Frequencies were calculated for multiple choice questions and mean scores and standard deviations were computed for Likert scale questions. Thematic analysis was utilized to examine open ended questions. Results: Participants indicated that they are interested in learning about mental health information, specifically general mental health information and treatment options. Their biggest challenges are identifying mental health professionals in general and identifying mental health professionals who share the same religious beliefs. Participants have access to computers and feel comfortable using technology. Finally, participants prefer handouts and lecture to learn about mental health information. Conclusion: Results indicate that providing education to assist clergy in identifying treatment options and treatment information, along with providing general information about mental health may be helpful with not only increasing clergy knowledge of mental health symptoms, but also increase comfort level with, and readiness to, facilitate referrals to appropriate resources.