(WFMZ-TV) In the days after the suicide of California megachurch pastor Rick Warren’s son, evangelical Christian leaders have begun a national conversation about how their beliefs might sometimes stigmatize those who struggle with mental illness.

Well-known evangelical figures called for an end to the shame and secrecy that still surrounds mental illness throughout U.S. society and a greater embrace of medical treatment, particularly among evangelicals.

The Southern California church headed by popular evangelical Pastor Rick Warren said his 27-year-old son committed suicide on Saturday.

“Part of our belief system is that God changes everything, and that because Christ lives in us, everything in our hearts and minds should be fixed,” said Ed Stetzer, a prominent pastor and writer who advises evangelical ­churches. “But that doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes need medical help and community help to do those things.”

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