A SHEPHERD’S ROLE: MENTAL HEALTH LITERACY TRAINING FOR CLERGY
The cost of unaddressed mental health issues can affect an individual on a micro level, influencing various aspects of their lives, and can have an impact on the macro level, costing the U.S an estimated $113 billion in losses due to lower productivity annually. The Latinx community is the second-largest minority group in the United States, yet it continues to be underrepresented in traditional mental health treatment participation despite approximately 60% of Latinx people meet criteria for chronic mood disorders. Stigma has been identified as a major barrier to seeking help. Using a socioecological theoretical framework, coupled with a review of the literature, this study determined that increasing mental health literacy and changing our understanding of mental health and interactions with people with mental health issues may be a promising approach. A theme emerging from the literature is collaborating with faith-based communities. After engaging in community-based participatory research, this notion was confirmed by members of the Latinx Seventh-day Adventist Church, licensed clinical social workers, and Latinx Christian leaders. A mental health literacy training was developed to increase mental health literacy for the Seventh-day Adventist Church clergy and leaders and reduce stigma. In the future, a quasi-experimental quantitative design with a one-group pre–posttest evaluation will be used to determine the effectiveness of the intervention in increasing mental health literacy, reducing stigma, increasing help-seeking behaviors among Latinx people; lessening the burden on clergy and leaders; improving quality of life; and reducing both financial and nontangible individual and systemic costs.
A capstone project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Social Work
Social Work, Mental Health