'No different from the rest of us'- Priests and mental health care

by Perry West, Catholic News Agency  |  06/10/2020  |  ACMHM News

After the suicide of a Missouri priest last month, psychologists talked with CNA about the issues priests can face when they need help with caring for their mental health.

Fr. Evan Harkins of Kansas City took his own life in late January, leaving parishioners and friends across the country mourning the beloved priest.

Shortly after Harkin's death, Bishop Vann Johnston of Kansas City-St. Joseph said the priest had a “sunny” personality, but had begun to struggle with anxiety and his physical health.

The bishop said the priest's decision to end his life might have been connected to his medication.

He said Harkins had developed serious stomach and gastrointestinal issues, which seemed to cause him anxiety.

“He was given a prescription drug to deal with the anxiety and was experiencing some of the extreme negative side effects of this drug including terrible nightmares, among other things,” Johnston explained.

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