Christian mental health professionals who attended Cape Town 2010: The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization have released the Cape Town Declaration on Care and Counsel as Mission, a three-page document that outlines foundational principles for responding to the unprecedented level of global mental health needs both within the Church and beyond. Sections of the Declaration address theological foundations for care and counsel as mission, as well as the need for more holistic and systemic perspectives, increasing inclusion of indigenous forms and methods of care, and collaborative methods of understanding and responding.
“God is calling us to walk alongside the suffering people of the world as he does,” noted Bradford M. Smith, who leads Lausanne’s Care and Counsel as Mission interest committee. He continued:
Our hope is that this Declaration, rooted in the 2009 Lausanne Consultation on Care and Counsel as Mission held in Mexico City, will stimulate a global dialogue on the future role of Christian counseling or, more broadly, care and counsel in serving all people.
Noting the widespread adoption of Western psychology in Christian counseling training programs worldwide, the Declaration recommends the development of “integral (holistic) models of psychology and psychotherapy that utilize indigenous, Christian models of human functioning, wholeness, and resiliency drawn selectively and sensitively from the insights of psychologies from around the world.”
The Declaration will be of interest to pastors, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, educators, mission organizations, and member care personnel. It is available at www.careandcounselasmission.org, along with a growing list of endorsers worldwide.