Mental Health Survey Results

IMPACT Congregational Survey
Brief Summary of Interim Findings
March 28, 2011

Early Research Committee interviews surfaced the belief that even as we seek to motivate action from the community for more effective provision of mental health services, we need to know more about what support is needed and is being provided through our congregations. Some members believe that communities of faith have unique opportunities to dispel stigma and increase inclusiveness for persons impacted by mental illness. We therefore provided a questionnaire to our member congregations seeking information about what is being provided and what more is desired. Seventy-one (71) individuals have submitted online or paper responses thus far to 8 questions.
Responses, edited for confidentiality, may be secured from
Mental health issues reported:
Depression (18) Post partum Depression (2) Obsessive-compulsive disorder (3) Anxiety (15) Bipolar Disorder (14) Borderline Personality disorder (2) Eating Disorder (2) Self injury (1) Suicide attempt (2) hospitalization (3) Anger management (3) Social anxiety in groups (1) Severe grief (1) Care Giver Syndrome (1) Substance Abuse Disorder (6) Disabling Emotional Distress (3) Gay family member adjustment (1) ADHD/ impulsive disorder (5) Work related stress due to discrimination (1) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (2) Schizophrenia (4) Schizoaffective Disorder (1) Self deprecating/retributive judgments of the Divine (1) Sleep Disorder (2) Brain Trauma (1) Elderly Dementia (4) Autism (1) Psychopathic (1)
Support received from faith community:
Loving acceptance/sense of belonging and value (5) Spiritual Direction (1) None (13) Open available clergy (2) Not church role (1) Pastoral counseling (2) Referrals to providers (1) Prayers and sermons (1) Small groups/peer support (2) Worship (3) Social activity (2) Committee Work (1) Child care (1) Volunteering opportunities (2) Private I assume (2) Openness of self-affirming others with mental illness (3) Financial assistance (1 ) Childcare (1) Teaching Assistant for special needs during Sunday School (1) Pastoral Care/support Committee (2) Prayer partners (1) Care Giver Support (1) Bible Study (1)
Support desired from faith community:
Respite care for care giver (1); Understanding of how hard it is to keep it together (2); Free/discounted counseling (5); Financial aid (3) Group insurance option  (2); Counseling/support groups (8); Education groups (4); Spiritual support counseling and group (6;) Referral information (2); Buddy program (1); Short and Longer term grief group (2); Awareness raising activities (2); Mothers’ Support Group (1); Adults reach out to other’s children (1); Family support (1); Listening individuals (1); Nothing more than prayers (1); Bible study (1); Peer or pastoral counseling (1); Complete openness by all (1)
Congregation comfort with mental health issues:
Only comfortable in safe friends/groups (4); Not at all comfortable (15); Don’t know (34); Quite Comfortable (6); Somewhat comfortable (7); Considered needy and people turn away (1);
What would make the congregation more comfortable dealing with mental illness?
Pastoral leadership (3); Education (5); Support groups with families sharing same problems (2); Open discussion/people affected share stories (4); Affirming sermons and offer of support (3); Assurance of confidentiality upon request (1); Alleviate shame (2); People needing support should make known (1); Bible study (3); Have know mental health advocates in congregation (1); Ask the congregation this question (1); Called congregational discussion (2);
Is there stigma, and what can congregations do to help overcome stigma related to mental illness?
Yes (39); Not in our congregation (1); Keep company with consumers (2); In churches, be open and recognize we are all part of the Body of Christ (1); Provide access to the church overnight (1); Support groups for families dealing with it (1); Dispel association of mental illness with violence or homelessness (1); Education re: brain research/frequency/diversity/suffering/lack of services (8) Financial support of provider organizations (1) Input from mental health professionals (2); People with mental illness “come out” (1); Broad, open discussions (1); Help in coping with actively mentally ill (3); Un-welcoming congregations seek practices of welcoming congregations (1); Sermons(2); Congregational leaders/clergy share about treatment they receive/d (1);
Other comments:
Thanks for asking (12); Worse during recession (1); Work on community-at-large, pessimistic about congregations to help (2); Congregations make long term efforts to reduce stigma (1); Not congregations job (1); IMPACT publish resources on web site and other ways (2); Understand connection with homelessness, jail, relationship loss (1);

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