One of the powerful, highly-organized world movements today is the World Federation for Mental Health, born in 1948 during the International Congress on Mental Health in London. Since that time, this organization has maintained the closest possible relations with the World Health Organization and UNESCO. It has sparked far-reaching programs, including legislation, establishment of university chairs, training centers for psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, publicity programs, the organization of smaller groups to propagandize and promote the cause, and the publication of literature for the use of its many complementary organizations. The smallest but best-known wing of this larger movement is the Community Mental Health Clinic, usually purported to be a local community-inspired organization.
That psychiatry has often brought immeasurable relief is the testimony of multitudes, but it is this very virtue which may blind the Church to the dangerous doctrines pronounced by leaders of the mental health movement. What has been so fruitful in the way of mental adjustment may blind people to certain trends that are the very antithesis of the principles of Christianity.
To discover the true moorings of an organization, it is often necessary to use the methods of the psychiatrists themselves, i.e., to let the patient talk and probe into his childhood and resultant way of life. What is the philosophy from which this mental health movement has been born? What are the principles behind the program? If pursued to their logical conclusion, to what kind of peace will they lead us?
Dr. G. B. Chisholm, past president of the National Committee on Mental Hygiene in Canada, director general of WHO from 1948 to ...1
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