A Review of the Potential Barriers to Providing Services and Making Referrals for Mental Health Disorders by African American Pastors in the Black Church

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Historically, the Black Church has been a stable institution providing various social service resources within the African American community. Pastors within the Black Church are valued as credible sources of assistance for the many social and psychological problems that impact its parishioners and the community. African Americans deal with various mental health concerns and may struggle with more persistent mental disorders, yet African Americans seek treatment for mental illness at lower rates. This literature review examines the potential psychological, social, cultural, and religious/spiritual barriers that may prevent African American pastors from referring to professional mental health providers (e.g., counselors/therapists, psychologists, and social workers) and providing mental health services to their congregants within the Black Church. A review of current mental health collaboration and strategies for promoting initiatives dedicated to increasing collaboration efforts between African American pastors and mental health professionals will also be examined.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Psychology
Clinical Psychology