Writing to his friend Gaius, John the Revelator writes the following:
“Dear Friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John verse 2). This well-known verse could be summarized in one phrase – be wholistically reset and restored! As health leaders, educators, and true disciples of Christ, we need to live and make a difference in every area of health and well-being–physical, mental, spiritual, social, emotional, and relational. I wish to affirm our World Health Team in all territories for working so intentionally in the practice and training on wholistic health. Your dedicated work is inspiring, especially the focused attention to mental health. While we have traditionally spent much time on nutrition and physical health, which importantly help promote wholistic health, we have neglected to be specifically inclusive of mental and emotional health disorders and wellbeing.
It has long been an aphorism of the World Health Organization, “Without mental health, there can be no true physical health” (Dr. Brock Chisholm, first Director-General of the WHO).
Adventists have long known this, and now we have the privilege to live and share it through our approach to mental health and emotional well-being. As early as 1863, Ellen White counseled the Church on healthful living and the vital interaction of the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual wholeness. She spoke about mental health practices, emphasizing that the main aim and “goal of psychological study and practice would be to reconnect the person with God as the Great Healer of the mind and soul.” (A Christian Worldview and Mental Health, page 70).
We have the opportunity to share the good news of health and salvation. Significant resources are available on the Youth Alive Mental Health Initiative web page: https:/youthaliveportal.org/mentalhealth. Phase one of ReMinded will be released by mid-year. Let’s take the time to refresh our thinking and understanding of depression, anxiety, inequities and disparities, and best lifestyle practices. And then Go, Sharing Wholeness and Serving All!
May the Lord richly bless you as you live and promote wholistic health and well-being in Him.