Media, mental health communication, and Christian caregiving

As governments, service providers, consumers and carers collaborate towards significant reform in the Australian mental health sector, this paper conceptualises the relevance of media and communication for diverse domains and models of ‘Christian caregiving’ (community care and transcultural mental health, Christian psychology and counselling, biblical and pastoral counselling, pastoral care, member care, discipleship and fellowship). I present the findings of my comparative analysis of mental health communication across various Christian organisations in Australia, including faith-based NGOs (e.g. Wesley Mission), missions organisations, parachurch organisations, interdenominational and denominational organisations (e.g. Victorian Council of Churches, Baptist Union of Victoria), churches (e.g. CityLife), and Christian providers of professional mental health services (e.g. Christian Counsellors Association of Australia, Australian Psychological Society Christianity and Psychology Interest Group). Synthesising these empirical findings with a review of interdisciplinary academic and policy literature, this paper proposes ways in which individuals, groups, and organisations can give and receive mental health support within, across, from, and/or to Australian Christian cultures through effective media and communication strategies.

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Swinburne University of Technology
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4
Paper Number: 
6