top of page
Mental Health, web banner.jpg

Background

The Catholic Church offers much guidance and grace when approaching mental health. The mental health of a person can often weigh heavily or even be confused with the spiritual life. The Church looks to the wise examples of saints who faced mental health challenges and the compassion of Jesus Christ, who took on even the suffering of mental illness upon himself in taking on humanity.(1)

Our office supports the work of Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph Parish Mental Health Ministry. The office also responds to the role of mental health in the many other issues we address: post-abortion syndrome for those men and women who have had abortions; the stress and anxiety of immigrants and prisoners; the anxiety of climate change on the youth; the burdens of isolation and sometimes addiction of the unhoused; and the loneliness and depression which can affect the elderly.

  • Research has found that 63% of women who had an abortion sought help or said they would have benefited from talking to someone after an abortion.(2)

  • “About one out of three asylum seekers and refugees experience high rates of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD).”(3)

  • “About three in five people (63%) with a history of mental illness do not receive mental health treatment while incarcerated in state and federal prisons.”(4)

  • Black and African American people face increased stigma and judgment for seeking treatment for mental health, which often leads to lack of discussions, even amongst family, of mental health treatment.(5)

  • “Up to 40% of women experiencing infertility have a psychiatric diagnosis, most often depression or anxiety.”(6)

  • Climate change has several linkages to a person’s mental health. Those who are displaced may lose jobs and housing and face stress and anxiety from life being upended. Pollution and higher temperatures affect food quality and availability, which can lead to psychiatric effects.(7)

  • “Most of the people who request EAS (euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide) for mental illness appear to be experiencing multiple mental health problems.”(8)

1https://www.humandevelopment.va/content/dam/sviluppoumano/pubblicazioni-documenti/archivio/salute/dolentium-hominum-en-1-72/DH_34_En.pdf

2https://supportafterabortion.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Study-Shows-Long-Term-Negative-Impact-of-Medication-Abortion.pdf

3https://www.psychiatry.org/File%20Library/Psychiatrists/Cultural-Competency/Mental-Health-Disparities/Mental-Health-Facts-for-Refugees.pdf

4https://www.nami.org/Advocacy/Policy-Priorities/Improving-Health/Mental-Health-Treatment-While-Incarcerated

5https://www.mhanational.org/issues/black-and-african-american-communities-and-mental-health

6https://www.psychiatry.org/news-room/apa-blogs/infertility-the-impact-of-stress-and-mental-health

7https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/climate-change-and-mental-health-connections

8https://bpded.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40479-020-00131-9

Church Documents

bottom of page