Promote whole person health
Health is more than having a physical body that functions well.
Health is a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmityWHO Revised statement Geneva, 1997
The biblical concept of health is best captured in the word ‘Shalom’, which includes physical and psychological well-being which is a product of living in just and right relationships with God, and between people and nations. Shalom is created by living God’s way and demonstrating moral and ethical integrity that results in the experience of peace, wholeness, a sense of well-being which can be summarised as health.
Anne van Loon, 2000
I am healthy when there is Harmonious unity within myself – of body, mind and spirit: and in my relationship with others, with the creation, and with God. Illness occurs when there is disunity or disruption in any of these aspects
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- Mental health
- Chronic condition management
- Ageing, transition into aged care, and end of life care
- Navigating the health system
We are whole people not separate parts. When one part of our being is sick, the whole person experiences the illness. In Health and Pastoral Care ministry we minister/practice with our whole person to affect the health of another whole person.
Here is a simple attempt to explain wholeness to people so we respond in ways that are genuinely holistic when we care for other.
We experience life and move around the world with our body. We use its five senses, the brain and all of the body systems to process the world.
Our mind enables us to be conscious of others as well as ourselves. It enables us to process our world and the people in it. We can think, reason, predict, analyse and synthesise the information that our mind receives, to enable us to function and achieve various purposes within life. Within our mind lie our personality and character traits, plus our conscious capacity to think and reason intelligently. We react to our experiences of the world with our feelings and emotions. These are influenced by our thoughts, beliefs, values, attitudes and memories. We consciously process life experiences to develop knowledge from which we can make conscious choices that affect our best responses to given situations.
Deep within every person lies the human spirit and it enables God-consciousness. The spirit animates us as human beings and enables us to experience meaning, purpose, love, hope, faith and an awareness of the spiritual dimension. We process the world in the spiritual dimension via discernment and intuition.
The Bible speaks about the ‘heart’ and each person’s ‘heart’ traverses both mind and spirit. The ‘heart’ is the seat of a person’s free will. It can choose to quench the human spirit or enliven it. With our ‘heart’ we can choose to connect with the Holy Spirt of God, or disconnect and deny God. When a person chooses to let their heart connect with God that person receives the Holy Spirit of God, which empowers them and enables them to make life choices using their God given conscience and knowledge to discern good from evil. This enables them to choose actions that represent love for self, love for others, love for the creation, and love for God.