Baha'i Association of Mental Health Professionals

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The Bahá'í Association of Mental Health Professionals (BAMHP) "is a non-profit, Baha'i-inspired organization designed to serve the intellectual, social and spiritual needs of practitioners, researchers and theoreticians who desire to apply the insights contained in the Bahá'í writings to the mental health professions. The Association seeks to combine the highest scientific and professional knowledge in the field of mental health with ongoing study and application of the Bahá'í Writings to all aspects of mental health education, research, and practice." [1]

History

"Over a period of years, the idea of a Bahá'í association of mental health professionals was proposed many times by those who felt such an association would be useful. Several people raised this idea with Mary K. Radpour, suggesting that she take the initiative to do so, but she felt the path was unclear. There is a letter in her files from Holly Head, written in May of 1994, with a list of therapists which Holly credits Frank Hayden and Joy Cross with having compiled. It was a nationwide list, without a concentration of clinicians in any region. The credit for the first effort to bring Bahá'ís with this interest together must go to the U.S. National Spiritual Assembly's Committee for the Equality of Women and Men, which decided to call a conference at Louhelen in the spring of 1998 for the purpose of addressing issues of domestic violence. Dr. Michael Rogell, a member of that committee, took the initiative to involve Fafar Guillebeaux and Mary K. Radpour as planners of this event. Among the speakers they invited to participate were Dr. William Hatcher and Dr. Michael Penn, who were very enthusiastic about the formation of a mental health professionals group and actively encouraged this initiative. One of the fruits of that May 1998 conference was the writing of a small booklet entitled Some Guidance for Spiritual Assemblies about Mental Health and Its Treatment.

"Subsequent to the May 1999 conference, Mary K. Radpour took the initiative to call together a small group of volunteers, including Adrienne Stengel, Jan McCrea, Barb Mayo, Dr. Penn, and Dr. Hatcher, who formulated a strategy for the creation of such an organization. With the assistance of Geoff Wilson, legal counsel to the National Spiritual Assembly, they formulated some bylaws and a proposal for incorporation of an organization which was then called the Association of Bahá'í Mental Health Professionals. The final proposal was submitted to the National Spiritual Assembly in December of 1999, subsequent to the first ABMHP conference in November of that year. That proposal was approved in the summer of 2000, with the proviso that the name be changed to Bahá'í Association of Mental Health Professionals, so that there would be no perception that this organization was exclusively for Bahá'ís. The final incorporation of that entity in the state of Illinois was completed in the spring of 2001.

"Conferences have been held since 1999 at Louhelen, Greenacre, and the Bosch Bahá'í school, stimulating the growth of the offical membership of BAMHP to its current membership.

"During that period of time, the Board of Directors of BAMHP recommended to the National Spiritual Assemblies of the U.S. and Canada that they distribute the booklet about mental health to all Local Spiritual Assemblies. The Canadian NSA translated the booklet into French for its French Spiritual Assemblies and distributed it to all Assemblies in 2000, and the U.S. NSA followed suit in 2001. The first Board of Directors undertook an initially ambitious agenda, but realized with time that its initial responsibility was to strengthen its internal organization and hold an outstanding conference for its members. It accomplished these goals with excellence, reserving more ambitious projects to the future when it could count on a greater number of human resources.

"BAMHP was organized to have a slate of Directors who would serve for 3-year terms, with two members rotating off the Board each year, and with 2 new members nominated by the body of the membership of BAMHP as its annual meeting. Among those who have served upon the Boards of Directors are:" [2]

Contact

Web: http://www.bahaimentalhealth.org

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch

References

  1. About the BAMHP, BAMHP, accessed September 29, 2007.
  2. The History of the BAMHP, BAMHP, accessed September 29, 2007.