in which every individual realizes his or her own potential,
can cope with the normal stresses of life,
can work productively and fruitfully,
and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
World Health Organization, October 2009
1. Begin with these two multimedia items:
2. Then have a look at:
**The Bare Facts is a fact sheet on mental health statistics (e.g., an estimated 877,000 people commit suicide each year). http://www.who.int/mental_health/en/index.html
3. For more detailed reviews and information:
**Links to special articles that review global mental health in the Lancet journal from the UK (2007).
One need not be a mental health professional to benefit from the information and resources listed on the WHO site! You will likely find the material to be practical for your own life and work in member care and mission/aid. Remember: an important part of respecting human diversity involves respecting people from all cultures who struggle with mental disorders. They especially are vulnerable and have rights to adequate care, opportunities, and well-being.
More Thoughts on Mental Health/Member Care
Mission/aid personnel are often in influential places where they can help make a difference. Greater awareness and some basic training about mental health issues especially in their setting/cultural context can be a great way to support their work with others. Member care workers themselves can also consider ways—new ways—to use their training to help make a difference in the diverse settings where mission/aid workers are located. There are plenty of national Christian workers (12 million) along with “foreign” mission workers (4000,000) who could be better supported and further trained to consider mental health issues in the ministry/work that they are doing. (stas from Johnson, Barrett, an Crossing, January 2010, International Bulletin of Missionary Research).