, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 117-134

Being Examples to the Flock: The Role of Church Leaders and African American Families Seeking Mental Health Care Services

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Abstract

Within the context of Black churches, African American clergy have a significant role in the delivery of mental health care services for parishioners and their families. Working toward better linkages between faith-based communities and more formal mental health care could help to provide more culturally sensitive and timely mental health care for African American families. Using a salient part of an integrative model (Davey and Watson in Contemp Fam Ther 30:31–47, 2008), the roles Black church leaders have historically played for African American families seeking outside mental health care services are considered. We additionally provide an example of a recent collaborative partnership with a Black church that points toward some promising directions for future research and clinical collaborations between the field of couple and family therapy and the Black church community.