Clergy play the role of frontline mental health (MH) workers for many Americans (Ellison et al., 2006; Wang et al., 2005; Winet, Majors, & Stewart, 1979). There is insufficient information in regards to what the clergy believe about MH and how they respond to MH related concerns. What we know indicates that clergy are not sufficiently equipped or trained to respond adequately to people suffering from issues of MH. Using face to face interview process, 301 clergy members of the faith based organizations (FBO) in Hidalgo County, Texas (HCT) were interviewed. Key findings suggest that the clergy engage in significant MH intervention practices and referrals based on their ministerial duties with FBO members. The clergy reported that they were not properly trained in MH and that additional training and education would be beneficial to assist people with MH problems. The results of this study highlight the importance of providing MH training and education to the clergy and increasing collaboration among the clergy and MH professionals to strengthen the referral process. Suggestions are made for future research.
School of Behavioral Health
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Church work with people with mental disabilities -- Texas -- Hidalgo County; Mental health -- Pastoral counseling of; Mental health counseling; Mental health counseling -- Religious aspects; Psychiatric referral; Pastoral psychology; Mental health services -- United States -- Statistics
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Park, John C., "Do Clergy in Hidalgo County, Texas Serve as a Bridge or Barrier to Mental Health Services?" (2015). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 187.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives