The Dangers Of Christian Mental Health Counseling: Mercy Ministries Exposed

The Dangers Of Christian Mental Health Counseling: Mercy Ministries Exposed

No matter how many times we try to spread the word about mental illness, there still seems to be a lack of understanding. Especially among church people. Why don't these ignorant church folks understand that, YOU CANNOT PRAY AWAY MENTAL ILLNESSES! Mental illness should be taken seriously. Mental health counseling isn't just a field that you can jump and hop into. So why are there an enormous amount of uneducated Christian folks without degrees practicing mental health?

Mercy Ministries, a Christian based mental health treatment facility was founded in 2009 by Nancy Alcorn and funded by wealthy evangelical donors around the country including gospel singer CeCe Winans, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, and Los Angeles Rams coach Jeff Fisher. There are countless stories of patients seeking mental health treatment at Mercy Ministries, like Haley Baker. Baker and so many others were forbidden from taking prescribed medications like Xanax and Adderall, and instead were prayed over, told to surrender to God, asked to read and respond to Christian texts and the founder’s own writings, as well as being yelled at to try and exorcise demons from their bodies.

Christian counseling, as it has become known in the mental health field, has represented a tricky topic for public health policy officials as groups like Mercy Ministries  now known as Mercy Multiplied  have boomed in recent years. The American Association of Christian Counselors had some 15,000 registered members in 1999, and now counts nearly 50,000, according to the report. Many of the faith-based programs are unregulated, and operate shelter-like facilities that aren’t required to have staff certified in mental health training.  Some patients have said the therapies really do work. Out of about 10 percent of Mercy’s patients who answered a survey about their time at a Mercy facility, 94 percent said the ministry transformed their life and restored their hope, while 85 percent said they were well-adjusted to life after the program.

For Haley Baker, the unregulated Christian counseling centers were dangerous to her fragile mental health. Her anxiety and depression returned after her stay at Mercy Ministries, and she continues to struggle with daily tasks like holding down a job. After six years of leaving Mercy Ministries, Baker stills struggles with mental illness.

For reasons mentioned above, Baker and others wants to drag Mercy’s transgressions into the light. In the years since her time at the Mercy's Lincoln facility, Baker has connected with a group of Mercy alumnae, their families, and former staff. They call themselves the “Mercy Survivors,” and since 2009 they have communicated through two private email lists. 

Mercy Ministries had taught Baker the dangers of having too much hope and too much belief, not in God, she says, but in other people. These days, she believes that she alone without regular therapy, Christian counselors, or Jesus must forge her way forward. 

The Dangers Of Christian Mental Health Counseling: Mercy Ministries Exposed The Dangers Of Christian Mental Health Counseling: Mercy Ministries Exposed Reviewed by The Preying Narcissist Staff on 7:16:00 AM Rating: 5

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