Title

Religiousness and Help Seeking: Individual, Congregational, and Clergy Factors

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Counselling Psychology Quarterly

Volume

35

Issue

1

Publisher

Routledge

Publication Date

1-17-2021

First Page

89

Last Page

109

Abstract

Religious individuals are less likely to seek psychotherapy than nonreligious individuals, but few studies have looked at factors that may facilitate or hinder help seeking in these individuals. Using the Theory of Planned Behavior as a lens, we examined individual, congregational, and clergy factors related to help seeking among Christian individuals. Multi-level models using data from 239 participants from 14 randomly selected Christian congregations suggest that congregant religiousness and the frequency at which clergy spoke about mental health were related to help-seeking intentions and attitudes. Furthermore, the availability of mental health programming was related to a decrease in reported depression in the congregation. These results highlight the important role that clergy play in influencing their congregations’ treatment seeking behaviors. Together, mental health advocates, psychotherapists, and clergy may work together to improve the mental health of their communities.

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