Thursday, March 13, 2008

On Responding to Those Who Are Mentally Ill Within the Baha'i Community: A sign of a community's health

The Bahá'í Association of Mental Health Professionals (BAMHP)

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There is so much involved in "loving one another." I think of the marvelous Baha'i Newsreel distributed to the Friends for viewing at Feast some time ago that encouraged Baha'is to simply reach out to other Baha'is, especially those who haven't been seen in a while. Pastoral care, as it is sometimes called. Having a "sunshine committee," as some communities do. An indication of the health of a community is in the way it responds to its suffering souls and those who are mentally ill. -gw

"The Bahá'í Community and Mental Health" on Planet Baha'i
You may have heard the African proverb, "It takes an entire village to educate a child." It also takes an entire "village" -- mental health professionals, the family and the Bahá'í community -- to help, support and uplift the friends who have mental disorders and emotional problems.

It is the position of this Association that human mental health is at risk when love and justice are absent. While some mental illnesses have a genetic and biological basis, it is well-known that prolonged and severe stress is also a pathogen that can impair human functioning and compromise mental health. Optimal mental health is therefore best served by solid social support, a warm and encouraging network of relationships, and good physical health. Violence, trauma, and abuse all undermine mental health.

3 comments:

SAM said...

Dear George, are you aware of any bahá'í iniciatives to promote some worldwide systematic meeting of professions of our field of expertise?

George Wesley Dannells said...

No, SAM, but the friends in the BAMHP would be the ones to look to for inspiration to take a focus on mental health to the next level.

Alexander M Zoltai said...

Thanks for this post !

Sent it to all my close Baha'i friends...