Tuesday 15 November 2011

MC-MH: Global Integration—8

Climbing or Confining:
Three Commitments for GI
We are sharing some thoughts on future directions for integration. Integration is a field of study which brings together the disciplines of mental health and theology in order to better understand and help humans and thus glorify God. The ongoing/additional links between member care (MC) and mental health (MH) are highly relevant for the global development of integration—global integration (GI). And GI is potentially very relevant for the global development of mission/aid and human health.
Climb traveller, or stiffen slowly on the plain.
Irish proverb

The current and future course of integration, like that for member care, lies in its global connections and contributions—going global. Climb globally traveler, or stiffen slowly on the familiar plain. Here are three items---suggested commitments--to support you in your “global climb”.

1. Commitment to staying current. These three links track developments in global mental health (GMH). They can help you access resources that are relevant for member care and integration.
2. Commitment to reviewing resources. The latest MCA website focuses on orienting people to GMH. It is called GMH-Map. Here are five resources (in the areas of research, practice, declarations) from the What’s New! section. These resources are also relevant for member care and integration.
3. Commitment to pursuing active involvement. These quotes below are from the October 2011 issue of Psychology International 22(3). They are likewise relevant for member care and integration. For example, where the word psychology or psychologist(s) occur, exchange it with a similar term for member care or integration.
"International cross-pollination among scientists and practitioners is important if we are to develop better models, methodologies, and perspectives. [The American Psychological Association, APA] may be the largest association of psychologists in the world but because of the psychological, geographical, and political boundaries in the United States and more generally in the west, we may become isolated in our thinking without exposure to perspectives from elsewhere. We as psychologists and members of APA must try to avoid tunnel vision and bias by bringing psychologists with other nationalities, cultures and practices to our table….
If we cannot invite and support bringing our fellow psychologists from other places to meet with the large numbers of psychologists who attend our Annual Convention, then we fail to educate, inform, and grow the many specialty areas in our discipline in the broadest and deepest ways. And we fail as U.S. psychologists because we do not have the international perspectives that allow us to be relevant in the largest sense. We must come out of our ivory towers by bringing our international psychologists to the Convention and to other meetings. Otherwise, we remain provincial and woefully out of step with the rest of the world." (Julie Meranze Levitt, pp. 2-3)
"Attendance at psychology world-congresses has been rising, the number of regional conferences that draw across multiple countries is growing, and associations are becoming more active in pursuing international interaction….
Now that doors are open, how do we move psychology from a tradition of individual exchange and international outreach to being an international discipline? Some suggestions from regional developments are to create structures for cross-country consensus and to ask, as a discipline, what it would take to realize a world in which psychologists can easily gather information about the work, ideas, and plans of colleagues around the world; can easily know how to find colleagues with mutual interests around the world; can be sufficiently mobile to be a psychologist around the world?....
What can individual psychologists do? From where I sit, the most important way to encourage internationalization is to tell each other about our work, our teaching, and our ideas. The most direct way is face-to-face at international conferences and congresses, or, if your travel budget is strained, by seeking out international attendees at domestic conferences or international colleagues in your own institution. Equally important is seeking out and reading about international work." (Merry Bullock, p. 4)
So climb...and jump too--ha!

Reflection and Discussion
**Which of the items in the “Saying Current” and “Reviewing Resources” sections above are you aware of already?

**List a few ways that GI can relevantly connect and contribute to GMH (section 3 above)?

**How would you apply the “climb traveler” proverb to your own life as well as to member care and/or integration?

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