Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Consultancy Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Jeffrey Hamilton


Mental illness of any form needing mental health assistance has come with some negative stigmas and perceived apprehension in the Black community. African Americans' low use of mental health services, historically and presently, has been well-documented. As a result, many African Americans seek assistance from within their faith-based organization, particularly their clergy staff. Pastors influence views on mental health counseling and mental health-seeking attitudes of their congregants. For my consultancy, I partnered with Watts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, a predominantly African American church to integrate mental health services into their church-based programming and to conduct an analysis of best practices of mental health delivery services to congregants. To determine best practices, we examined the relationship of the public and/or internal stigma of mental health from Black churchgoers and the impact of mental health-seeking attitudes from professionals to develop mental health awareness programming and a referral process to licensed mental health professionals.