By Mary Frances Schjonberg Thursday, July 20, 2006
[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal clergy have some serious health risks to address, according to a recently released report, but most are ready to take action to improve their health.
"Episcopal Clergy Wellness: A Report to the Church on the State of Clergy Wellness," developed for the CREDO Institute, shows that stress poses an emotional health risk for 72.9 percent of Episcopal clergy. That level is 16.7 percent higher for males than that found in the population used for benchmark comparisons, and 13.3 percent higher for females.
In addition, 27 percent of female reported that they deal with depression and 15 percent of males. Overall, clergy reports of depression exceed the benchmark population by 12.4 percent.
The report also shows that more than 24 percent of clergy were at risk for high cholesterol and 20.7 percent were at risk for high blood pressure.
The report compares the responses of 646 clergy who completed the Mayo Clinic Health Risk Assessment and other two assessments in 2005 as part of their preparation to attend one of the year's eight-day Clergy Reflection, Education, Discernment Opportunity (CREDO) conferences, provided to Church Pension Fund clergy participants. The Longitudinal Research Survey evaluates attitudes and beliefs. A financial practices questionnaire is also used.