This month we share several new resources on mental health, relevant for all of us--fellow humans everywhere. Maintaining good mental health, of course, is also an important for the effectiveness of mission/aid workers and member care workers themselves.
Part one provides links for self-help materials, short articles, and recent video presentations on mental health subjects. These resources are from/for the church-mission community. Part two highlights recent overview materials from global mental health (GMH) to help you quickly grasp the big picture of this important domain. GMH has so many opportunities for ministry by the church-mission community. especially in view of the estimated 450-700 million people in the world suffering from some type of mental condition.
We finish this Update with a brilliant, animated video on depression (four minutes), called I Had a Black Dog. We think it is something we can all relate to, and something to widely share!
Warm greetings from Geneva,
Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell
Mental health is a state of well-being 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
Resources—Church-Mission Community (CMC)
The materials in this section are diverse—and relevant. Have a look and you will likely find several items that interest you, such as addictions, depression, anxiety, etc.
The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church (Saddleback Church, Orange County, California, USA , 28 March 2014). Catholics, Evangelicals, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness seriously connect on behalf of mental health with an estimated 10,000 people participating in person/online. See the article
: Can Churches Separate Mental Illness and Shame?
and the Event website
. Several videos an adios of the presentations are now available, (examples, Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. John Townsend, etc.): http://mentalhealthandthechurch.com/
Cross Cultural Workers
. Website by Dr. Ron and Bonnie Kotesky, with many resources on mental health and member care. See especially the “Ought to Know
” materials. http://www.crossculturalworkers.com/
A Closer Look at Adult Children of the Mentally Ill in Missions. This article by Vicki Hornung looks at characteristics of adult children on the mentally ill (ACMIs) including the strengths and struggles of ACMI mission workers. (Evangelical Missions Quarterly, April 2014) (note—a subscription is needed to access this article online or hardcopy: http://www.emqonline.com/)
Spirituality and Mental Health in Humanitarian Settings. This chapter in Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013) is by Alson Schaefer with World Vision. Click here to access the original article published in Intervention (2010, 8(2), pp. 121-130).
Going Further: Have a look at the mental health-member care entries on our CORE MC weblog.
Resources—Global Mental Health (GMH)
The resources in this section are meant to give you a quick overview of GMH and to stimulate some ideas for involvement in mental health as mission (mhM).
Transforming Lives, Enhancing Communities.
Got five minutes? Read this three-page, compelling article on GMH, written by Vikram Patel (author of Where There is no Psychiatrist) and Shekhar Saxena (head of the Mental Health Department, World Health Organization). Published 15 January 2014, New England Journal of Medicine.
GMH: Strategies for Staying Updated
This short article by Kelly was written to help people get updated and stay updated with GMH. The materials are organized into seven areas (“GMH flows”). Click here for the full version of the article. (Psychology International, March 2014, Vol. 25, No. 1) http://www.apa.org/international/pi/2014/03/global-health.aspx
GMH and NGOs: Working Together Well! This is a condensed version of a power point-plenary session done at the HimalPartner GMH Seminar, Oslo, 7 March 2014, by Kelly. It can give you some ideas for getting involved in mental health around the world
Building Back Better: Sustainable Mental Health Care after Emergencies (2013). World Health Organization.
“Emergencies, in spite of their tragic nature and adverse effects on mental health, are unparalleled opportunities to build better mental health systems for all people in need. This WHO publication shows how this was done in 10 diverse emergency-affected areas. This [publication] is important because mental health is crucial to the overall well-being, functioning, and resilience of individuals, societies, and countries recovering from emergencies." http://www.who.int/mental_health/emergencies/building_back_better/en/
Going Further: See the resources on the websites for
: AtHealth (Mental Health Information and Resources) and the National Institute of Mental Health (Health Topics).
Dealing with Depression
A Personal Word from Kelly and Michèle
Depression, like other types of mental health struggles, is no stranger to the church-mission community. One of our favourite videos to help people with depression is by Matthew Johnstone from Australia. It is an animated piece called I Had a Black Dog. We have shared it once before in these Updates and do so again now. It is about four and a half minutes and covers many of the core features and helpful responses regarding depression. Have a look and share it with a friend. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc
More MCA Resources
Global Portal for Good Practice (website)
Reflections, Research, and Resources for Good Practice (weblog)
Global Mental Health: A Global Map for a Global Movement (website)
Global Integration: Ideas for Connecting and Contributing (overview materials)
Global Member Care: (volume one): The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (2011)
NEW: Global Member Care (volume two): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013)
E-book version available on Amazon