Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Stigma, Mental Illness, Faith-based, Training in the Church, Mental Health Awareness
Christianity | Counseling | Religion
Onaiwu, Blessed, "Benefits of Mental Illness Training Programs in the Church" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3508.
The church consists of God’s people. It is the assembly of believers in Jesus Christ. The physical buildings facilitate the fellowship, worship, and ministry of God’s people. According to Matthew 10:8, one of the mandates given to the body of Christ is to heal the sick. Mental illness of any form is an illness that requires proper care and attention. And we know Jesus came to comfort us in all our afflictions which include mental illness; most churches do not address this topic due to stigma. There is often a greater shame regarding this illness within the church than outside, forgetting that the church is called to extend grace and mercy, not shame. Pastors need more assistance and preparation for dealing with mental-health crises. This study was based on fifteen teenagers’ anonymous mental health survey in Arise and Shine International Ministries. The survey provided an insight into what the teenagers were going through, unknowingly to the church. After which, a three-week training for three hours on mental health awareness took place with fifteen leaders via Zoom. This survey revealed that the church community would benefit from integrating mental illness training in the church. Based on these results, this research recommends incorporating faith-based mental health awareness lessons into church leadership training.