267857 Building a successful intervention to address mental health issues: A community-based participatory research project for African-American churches

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Mimi Misung Kim, PhD , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, Chapel Hill, NC
Giselle Corbie Smith, MD MSC , Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Danny Ellis, LPN, MBA, PHD-ABD , Ellis Research & Consulting Service, LLC, Wilson, NC
William Kearney, Reverend , Coley Springs Missionary Baptist Church, Warrenton, NC
Jerry M. Williams, JD, PhD , Agape Word Fellowship, Raleigh, NC
Daniel L. Howard, PhD , The Robert Wood Johnson Center for Health Policy, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
Paul A. Godley, MD, PhD , Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: Despite the indication that the majority of service needs for African-Americans are unmet, there has been a strong and consistent response from the African-American church to serve as the surrogate for the medical sector. Historically, African-American churches have been a strong source of support for the spiritual, mental, and physical wellness of the congregants.

This community based participatory research study partnered with African American churches to explore the language and perception related to mental health in the church and the community and the resources available to individuals to treat mental health needs.

Methods: The study conducted 39 qualitative interviews at 3 African American churches in the South. All aspects of the study were executed in the context of a strong partnership with pastors of predominately African American churches.

Results: The qualitative results suggested a pattern of language about mental health that was non-clinical and strongly faith based. There was also a strong suggestion of mental health stigma. The results indicate a potential for more mental health education in faith based communities.

Conclusion: Faith based communities are a potential strong context for delivering effective information to individuals coping with mental health in their own lives, the lives of family members, and their communities. The findings from this qualitative study can positively inform the design of mental health interventions that can educate faith based communities on mental health and the delivery of preliminary diagnostic services that can facilitate longer term mental health treatment.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
After attending this presentation, participants will be able to identify various ways that African American churches can support and are empowered to help individuals coping with mental illness to address their own needs or the needs of loved ones to improve long term positive mental health related outcomes.

Keywords: African American, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author on the content i am responsible for because I have been the principal or co-principal investigator of multiple funded grants that focus on racial health disparities, community based participatory research, and various therapeutic areas including substance abuse, mental health, hypertension, prostate cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.