Alternative mental health services: The role of the Black church in the South

Michael B. Blank, Marcus Mahmood, Jeanne C. Fox, Thomas Guterbock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Objectives. This study determined the extent to which churches in the South were providing mental health and social services to congregations and had established linkages with formal systems of care. Methods. A computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) survey was conducted with pastors from 269 Southern churches. Results. Black churches reported providing many more services than did White churches, regardless of urban or rural location. Few links between churches and formal provider systems were found, irrespective of the location - urban or rural - or racial composition of the churches. Conclusions. Results are discussed in terms of the potential for linking faith communities and formal systems of care, given the centrality of the Black church in historical context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1668-1672
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


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