A group of Mormon church members wants the church to stop using the term “mental illness” to describe its members, even if it means they will have to go on an indefinite waiting list for treatment.
In a letter to the LDS church’s leadership, the LDS Church wrote that the term is a “misnomer” that “has the potential to stigmatize the Mormon faith” and “has an inherent negative connotation.”
“The LDS Church does not wish to stigmatise those who have mental health problems,” the letter reads.
“This is especially true given that we have a global membership of approximately 3.3 billion members and an annual global healthcare costs of approximately $200 billion.”
The LDS church also wants the term to be used only to describe mental health conditions that affect the mind, heart and soul.
“The Mormon Church is committed to ensuring that all of its members are treated with dignity and respect and to make available to them the same opportunities and resources that are afforded to all of the members of the Church,” the church wrote.
The LDS letter comes on the heels of a report from the Pew Research Center that showed a staggering 61 percent of the world’s population is either “diagnosed with mental illness,” or is in the process of being diagnosed.
According to the report, more than half of people surveyed reported that they had had at least one mental health crisis in their lifetime, while 40 percent had experienced a mental health breakdown in the last year.
The survey also found that 70 percent of people in developed nations believe the mental health care system is too fragmented, while 36 percent said it is not fair.
The Pew Research report was based on a survey of more than 12,000 adults in 17 countries.
It was conducted in 2015 and 2016, and has been widely publicized in recent weeks as a “bombshell” that could hurt the LDS faith.
The findings, however, are a far cry from what many Mormons want the church and its leaders to do.
The LDS church has been a leader in the fight against mental health stigma for decades, and in recent years it has taken steps to make its policies more inclusive.
In July, the church announced it was expanding its mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.
It also announced a new plan to help veterans and their families cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Last month, the Mormon church opened its first women’s wards in Salt Lake City and began a campaign to get more women into leadership roles.
It is also investing heavily in mental health research.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the oldest Mormon church in the United States, with about 3 million members.