The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a global mental health crisis, with significant increases in anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and suicidal ideation. Religious communities are a vital source of social and emotional support for many Americans, and considerable research attests to the positive relationship between religiosity and mental health. But pandemic-related lockdowns have severely restricted religious participation and community gatherings. It is therefore crucial to understand the mental health impact of the pandemic on faith communities. Between October and December 2020, IHE Fellow Brandon Vaidyanathan and colleagues surveyed more than 1,600 members in diverse faith communities to assess the effect of the pandemic on their religiosity and well-being. In this webinar, we will present key highlights of their findings, and discuss the implications for faith leaders and for scholarship on religion and mental health.
Presentation: Dr. Brandon Vaidyanathan
Dr. Scott Thumma, Hartford Seminary
Elisa Gilmore, First Baptist Church of Glenarden
Lisa Ziv, Blue Dove Foundation
Dr. Mark McMinn, George Fox University
Cosponsored with the Catholic University of America Department of Sociology. This project is supported by a grant from The John Templeton Foundation.