Southern Asia-Pacific Division

The official website of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists


SSD organizes Adventist mental health volunteers

[Photo courtesy to Bangladesh Adventist Union Mission]

According to studies, the increase in patients with mental health issues has grown significantly in recent years.  Researchers see this issue to become one of the top reasons for morbidity and mortality.

The World Health Organization (WHO) noted the growth of health issue among young people beginning age 14.  Recognizing this risk, the Health Ministries Department of Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) mobilized the Church’s unions and conferences to devise programs designed to face the realities of mental illnesses including suicide and other sensitive topics surrounding it.  This initiative aims to capacitate individuals to be resilient when mental health circumstances arise.  

Primarily reaching out to countries within the 10/40 window, the Adventist church in the Southern-Asia Pacific region through its Health Department trained mental health core teams in its 11 unions who will reecho down to church members how to achieve a perfect mental state, improve self-esteem, gain confidence, and reestablish a stronger relationship with Christ.

The training incorporates the administration of different personality test strategies. These tests enable volunteers to accurately assess and identify appropriate approaches to help patients to improve emotionally.

Core teams were also trained on how to conduct psychological first aid to victims of disasters, calamities, violence, crime, bullying, rape, and brutality, and to those with mental disorders.   

Along with this training, SSD health Department is working with church institutions and the academe in the structuring of protocols and procedures to be followed whenever these institutions come across mental health cases.

Also discussed in the training were the various methods of ministering to dysfunctional individuals using the 12 Steps Ministry promoted by the Adventist Recovery Ministries (ARMin). ARMin is a ministry focused in training volunteers across cultures and backgrounds (in large cities and remote areas) to spread awareness on mental health.  Part of ARMin’s objective is to rescue patients from mental health issues and point them to the ultimate source of healing, Jesus Christ.

When asked, one volunteer testified: “What I have learned from this training seminar will be of great help to me and to my co-workers to be able to deal with our church members and others with care, kindness, and love,” one delegate from Bangladesh Adventist Union Mission said.

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