“Just pray about it.” Those are words often told to people struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental health struggles. While praying can be helpful, many times it’s necessary to talk to a professional. Unfortunately many religious people do not attend therapy because of the stigma it has in many religions, you’re supposed to turn everything over to God and it will be better however sometimes God sends counselors and therapists to help you.
Churches don’t often name the reality of its members living with experiences of mental illness. Unfortunately mental health problems are often erroneously intertwined with weakness or lack of willpower. People are also often viewed as “weak and crazy”. Many Christians are not encouraged to seek counseling, but instead are encouraged to pray harder and have more faith. This is something which needs to be worked against especially in Black churches. These views lead to many Black people who experience mental distress not getting the help they need. Going to therapy doesn’t mean you don’t trust God, it means you’re getting some help to live and feel better. If you have a physical illness it’s not looked down on if you go to the doctor and it should be the same with mental illness. If you’re struggling with mental health difficulties remember while it’s fine to pray, there is nothing wrong with also going to therapy.