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J Pastoral Care. 1995 Summer;49(2):129-47.

Has there been a failure to prepare and support parish-based clergy in their role as frontline community mental health workers: a review.

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  • 1Hawaii State Hospital, Kaneohe 96744, USA.


Addresses the issue that parish-based clergy, functioning as frontline community mental health workers, often do so with inadequate training and limited support from the mental health community. Claims that although a clergyperson is as likely to have a severely mentally distressed person seek her or his assistance as is a mental health specialist, there is inadequate research on the function of clergy in the mental health network or the psychological dynamics of religion. Suggests that clergy can serve most effectively in the mental health network as skilled facilitators, identifying the needs of persons, and connecting them to a larger circle of specialized helpers. Argues that the mental health and religious communities share many common values and goals and need to work together more effectively for the best interest of those they are called to serve.

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