Saturday 30 July 2011

MC-MH: Global Integration--3

Tran(s)pan in the GI Commons
Global Aid Per Capita 
Colors indicate recipients; black/gray indicate donors
Who controls aid and who controls GI?

We are sharing a few thoughts on future directions for integration. Integration is a field of study which brings together the disciplines of theology and mental health in order to better understand and help humans. The ongoing/additional links between member care (MC) and mental health (MH) are highly relevant for the global development of integration—global integration (GI)—as well as the global development of mission/aid.
I think we'd all agree that GI should not be overly influenced by a few institutions (e.g., academic settings), or a few publishing sources (e.g., journals, publishers), or a few disciplines (e.g., clinical psychology) a few theologies (e.g., Evangelical), a few nations (e.g., USA, UK), or a predominant generation/gender (e.g., over 50, male). We must go further and deeper if we are to truly develop GI, or better, a “GI Commons” in which a diversity of humans can meet on a level field for mutual exchanges and mutual support.

I simply have to find a new word to describe the nature and direction of GI. Let's go with a troika term: "tran(s)pan": trans = across, pan = all, and span = range. This term then means that GI is universal, at least aspirationally. I wonder to what extent the integration field is influenced (dominated?) by academic, American, Caucasion, Evangelical and male influences (including perspectives and agendas)? Is integration, for all of its incredible contributions the past 40+ years, heading towards the way of many good movements, becoming institutionalized and an industry? Does  I do not know and I would sure like to hear what othes have to say about this.

Nonetheless, I think that for the GI commons to become tran(s)pan, it just will not need more non-whites, nor more non-Americans, nor more people from other countries to be invited to be part of the current (”our”) integratation world. Rather I think that something new needs to emerge that fits with the diversity of humans and the major issues facing humanity. I think it will involve in its core a shift in mentality and a shift in lifestyle. It will involve what Patel et al (2011, page 90), in describing the global mental health movement, refer to as the “selfless moral struggle” needed for equitable, quality resources for everyone.

For more perspectives on the GI Commons, have a look at these three links which provide us with some quick and fascinating glimpses of the bigger picture.

1. Perspectives from 15 years ago:
See the abstract from the article Psychology and the Global Commons: Perspectives of International Psychology by Kurt Pawlik and Géry d'Ydewalle American Psychologist, 51(5), May 1996, 488-495.

2. Current perspectives:
a. See the listing of many psychology-related conferences around the world during the next 12+ months.
b. The six minute interview with Dr, Vikram Patel regarding the needs/strategies for global mental health.

Reflections and Discussion
1. How would you summarize the above comments regarding the GI Commons in one sentence.

2. Perhaps you like the the notion of heading fuirther into a “tran(s)pan” direction for your life and lifestyle. If so, in what areas? And are there limits, cautions, and hindrances in doing this?

3. List three ways that the member care field could help GI further become a tran(s)pan reality.

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