Sunday, 1 July 2018

Humanity Care: UPGs and SDGs 2

Mental Health and Non-Communicable Diseases 

Applications for the
Church-Mission Community and Unreached People Groups


There is a new advocacy article on mental health that Kelly has co-authored. It was written for the general public to better understand how mental health is linked to the physical non-communicable diseases (NCDs)--e.g., cancer, diabetes, respiratory, cardio-vascular, and the impact of unhealthy nutrition/diet, obesity, inactivity, harmful use of alcohol, tobacco, etc. The article is directly related to SDG 3.4: By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.”  United Nations, Sustainable Development Goal 3.4

The article just went on the website for the NCD Alliance’s Enough Campaign—“Our health. Our right. Right now.. This major, global Campaign is bringing together the voices of hundreds of organizations, calling governments to fulfill their commitments to prevent and treat NCDs and doing so en route to the third High-Level Meeting on NCDs to be held at the UN New York this September. We have been tracking with the global efforts to prevent and treat NCDs for seven years (e.g., see Kelly’s summary of his time at the first NCD High Level Meeting on NCDs at the UN, CORE Member Care, 30 September 2011).  

We think MH-NCDs is especially relevant for the mission of the global-local Church e.g. (mental health as mission). We also see major applications for those working with Unreached People Groups (UPGs). See below for more information and perspectives oriented for the Church-Mission Community (CMC). Please do feel free share with others!
Linking Mental Health/NCDs and UPGs
Opportunities for the Church-Mission Community
Mental health as mission--What are we waiting for?

“Take special note that approximately 80% of the [estimated 40 million annual] deaths from NCDs occur among people in low-middle income countries (LMICs). I hasten to add that many of the world’s poor live in LMICs and are in fact part of people groups that lack a viable Christian presence [Unreached People Groups, Least-Reached People Groups].”
Kelly O’Donnell, Finding our Global Integration Voices, CORE Member Care (30 September 2011).

By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.”  United Nations, Sustainable Development Goal 3.4

Presenting a New Advocacy Article for Mental Health
Linking Mental Health and the NCD Alliance Campaign Priorities for the 2018 United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs is a new advocacy article, authored by Julian Eaton, Kelly O’Donnell, Lucy Westerman, and Fiona Adshead. Here is the summary: “Mental health conditions are one of the major groups of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) with crucial relevance in efforts to control and prevent NCDs. Mental health also has links to cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and other physical NCDs. By considering mental ill health and other NCDs together, we can improve the lives of people affected by NCDs worldwide, and guide advocacy at global, regional and national level for strong commitments at the September 2018 UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs.”

The piece was done in association with the NCD Alliance, the World Federation for Mental Health, and the Mental Health Innovation Network. It was just posted on the NCD Alliance’s website (Enough Campaign) and is already making its rounds far and wide. This short piece contains many infographics and six key messages for action in order to quickly orient you to mental health and NCD issues and indeed the NCD epidemic.

Increasing Relevance for the Church-Mission Community and UPGs
The Church-Mission Community (CMC) has a vast number of local members/ministries around the world that are in strategic places to potentially help those with mental conditions and promote mental wellbeing. Mental health as mission is a viable albeit overlooked component of sharing the good news and good works—mission strategy. Here are two quotes that shine light on opportunities for the increased engagement by the CMC in mental health/NCDs, especially among Unreached People Groups (UPGs).

“NCDs can affect you and me and our loved ones. And they can and do affect mission/aid workers and certainly the people with whom they work. Understanding and preventing NCDs and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices should be a core part of the member care that we provide in mission/aid and in any global health efforts…”

“Take special note that approximately 80% of the [estimated 40 million annual] deaths from NCDs occur among people in low-middle income countries (LMICs). I hasten to add that many of the world’s poor live in LMICs and are in fact part of people groups that lack a viable Christian presence (UPGs, LPGs). Who are the people and organizations that are explicitly talking about the epidemic of NCDs in terms of people groups and Christian witness/responsibility? Or for that matter who is addressing the massive untreated mental health disorders in LMICs in view of Christian witness/responsibility? There is a huge opportunity for the church-mission community to confront the NCD epidemic as part of our commitment to bring love and healing to the peoples of the earth.” Kelly O’Donnell, Finding our Global Integration Voices, CORE Member Care (30 September 2011)

Mental Health as Mission: Resources for the CMC
-- New Global Member Care Model: February 2017
--Psychological First Aid: August 2016
--Global Mental Health as Mission–Overview and Opportunities: April 2016
--Migrant Care–Hospitality for Humanity: October 2015
-- Trauma: July 2015
-- Creative Tools for Healing: October 2014
-- Doing Mental Health Well: May 2014
--Mental Health and Psychosocial Support: September 2013
-- Mental Health as Mission: September 2012


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