2 minute read

Mental Health

by Carlin Armstead

If I were the President of the United States of America, I would focus on mental health and how the faith community can play a crucial role in terms of helping out with improving treatment and prevention measures. Mental health is finally being taken more seriously, specifically by AfricanAmericans and other underserved groups.

I had the honor and privilege of working with a mental health agency for eight years as a case manager. I learned a lot from my colleagues and my clients. The mind is a powerful force. The power of the mind, that God created, produces the ability for us to imagine things that don’t exist and bring them into reality.

The faith community has always played a role in the mental health of others, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Examples would include: leading the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s all the way up to offering resources to people impacted by tragedies such as 9/11, school shootings, and police brutality.

Faith is the action behind addressing mental and emotional needs through spirituality. The concept of the spirit and the soul matters. Everyone has a soul and a spirit. Faith lives in spirituality, which is unseen.

In the Bible, Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” The verse begins with the words “Now faith,” which could mean faith is an ongoing presence that lasts forever. That presence comes from one of the characteristics of God: Omnipresence, or the position of always being present. Faith literally brings spirituality to the physical realm where people can feel it.

So, faith leaders use faith as a way to diagnose, treat, and remedy (or cure) various situations using practices such as meditation and prayer. These practices help people go after the goals of confronting, combating and overcoming their challenges.

As President, I would create a Cabinet position (Secretary of Mental Health) to look at how the government can apply resources such as money and creation of jobs to help those who struggle. Those who overcome their struggles could be used to help others that are going through similar journeys, while supporting themselves financially.

This Cabinet position could fund federal, state and local programs throughout the nation that would employ people, promote mental health education, and improve social interaction within communities. An inter-faith commission would be created within this Cabinet position to blend spiritual principles into therapeutic practices that are being used in an effort to help others succeed at improving their mental health.