Non-Christians are more than twice as likely to acknowledge seeking counseling for mental health issues than practicing Christians, according to a recent study by the Barna Group.
In a report released Tuesday, Barna found that 33 percent of surveyed non-Christians said they have sought counseling, versus 15 percent of respondents who identified as practicing Christians.
“[T]here’s a chance some of the faithful are simply confident in their mental health — after all, science confirms that religious belief and a loving, stable community can be healing and have psychological benefits,” explained the report.
“[However] this may also reflect the strength of stigma within Christian circles, as many churches have been slower to accept mental illness as a legitimate struggle requiring professional help.”
Barna’s report also found that 47 percent of evangelicals feel it is important to have a therapist with a similar religious background, which is far higher than the 8 percent of Americans overall who say the same.
“While only 8 percent of U.S. adults say a similar religious background is one of the most important factors, this is much more essential to some,” continued Barna.
“For example, among conservatives, one out of five (20 percent) indicates a similar religious background matters greatly to them, far more than the 3 percent of liberals who say the same.”
The report sought to analyze the level of stigma within American society toward mental health counseling, especially considering how “even in the Church” the “stigma surrounding mental health is acutely felt.”
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Source: Christian Post