The Psychological Health of Missionaries—Adding to the Research

Clearing Customs

6903821997_e0a95ce498_nHere’s a quick question:

What percentage of returned missionaries and aid workers report psychological disorders during their time overseas or shortly after their return? What do you think? About a quarter, a third, half, two thirds, three quarters?

According to a 1997 study conducted by Debbie Lovell-Hawker of Oxford University, the answer is “about half.” More precisely, Lovell-Hawker’s findings show that among the returned missionaries and aid workers she studied,

46% reported that they had experienced a clinically diagnosed psychological disorder either while working overseas or shortly after returning to the United Kingdom.

Before I went overseas, I would have guessed much lower than half, but after I first heard this statistic referenced in a debriefing I attended, in my mind, the number began to grow much higher than 46%. Statistics have a way of doing that.

Lovell-Hawker’s research included 145 aid and development workers and missionaries from 62 organizations. Though…

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Child Abuse Seminar

Celia Munson, Training Coordinator of Bukal LIfe Care, led the first half of a morning seminar at Benguet State University on Child Abuse. It was done for the Education majors at the school. The second half was led by Atty Angiwan. Approximately 170 attended. The powerpoint is in the Training Aids section of http://www.bukallife.org. Thanks to Prof. Marcy Bolona, and others of the Education department for inviting us and making us feel so welcome.BSU 1

While four of us (Celia, Bob, Alexis, and Fhey) were at this, others from our group were at the PMHA-led training on depression, held at Benguet General Hospital. A good day for learning overall.