A Mississippi coalition of mental healthcare providers and ministers are kicking-off a campaign to promote awareness about mental illness. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
According to the Mississippi Psychiatric Association one in four people suffer from some form of mental illness, whether they're treated or not. Bishop Ronnie Crudup pastors New Horizon Church International in Jackson. He adopted a child with a mental illness and the bishop says its a prominent issue for many in his congregation.
"That issue I think has made me better, It's made me more sensitive, it has made me more thoughtful and I think I have prepared myself to help other people because of my daughter's circumstances," said Bishop.
Crudup says he has practitioners they refer people to and they work with families to help with the challenges they face. He's a part of a coalition of pastors and mental healthcare providers who are reaching out to faith-based leaders to address mental health head-on. The Initiative is called Mending Mississippi Minds. They are providing pastors with a guide to help them better understand mental illness and treatment, while helping families with resources. Dr. Maxie Gordon is head of the Mississippi Psychiatric Association.
"People are more likely to go to the church and talk about their illness. The church with all good means that they have, they're well meaning but sometimes they're not as prepared to deal with the severe mental illnesses that they are presented with," said Gordon.
Gordon says a recent study found 65 percent of people want their pastors to talk about mental health in church. The coalition is asking faith-based leaders to present seminars or sermons about mental illness now through the end of the year. Gordon says the guide is available by mail or can be downloaded by visiting:msmpa.com.