In Support of World Mental Health Day
Promoting Holistic Health with Love and Conscience
Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze
President of Federation of World Peace and Love
Vice-President of Association of World Citizens
Zhang-men-ren of Tai Ji Men
Oct. 10, 2020
October 10 is World Mental Health Day. Today, through this virtual event, we are uniting the hearts and efforts of friends from all walks of life to support this important United Nations day. People all over the world are paying more and more attention to mental health issues. Now, the novel coronavirus is attacking the whole world, bringing daunting challenges to humanity, deeply impacting the global economy, social safety, and completely changing the way we live. To date, over 30 million people have been infected with COVID-19 and over 1 million people have lost their lives.
Based on the World Health Organization’s definition of health, it is important to acknowledge that health involves physical health, mental health, positive social adaptation, and moral health. COVID-19 not only threatens our physical health, but also has a serious negative impact on our mental, social, and moral health. Since "shelter-in-place" orders were enacted around the world, social interaction between people has been greatly reduced. At the same time, as people lack social and emotional support driven by conscience and empathy, many have developed COVID-19 Stress Syndrome. As a result, there is a large increase in cases of depression, manic depression, schizophrenia, and other mental disorders, and suicide rates have risen significantly. Countless people live in fear or live with sadness and uneasiness.
The concept that “Prevention is better than cure” holds true in both epidemic prevention and health protection. According to an ancient Chinese medical book, “First-class doctors treat people before they become sick. Second-class doctors treat people who are about to fall ill. Third-class doctors treat people who are already sick.” The “heart” controls the body, mind, and spirit. Physical health and mental health mutually affect each other, and people’s “essence, qi (energy), and spirit” are closely related to their mental health. Therefore, the key to mental health lies in the heart, and awakening innate conscience allows us to find ways to save ourselves before we get sick. We need to constantly self-reflect and correct our own thoughts and actions. When we take a moment of peace, calm ourselves down, and engage in introspection, the mirror of conscience will reflect the five poisons within--greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance, and skepticism. Only through regular self-reflection and correction and adherence to the guidance of our conscience, can we eliminate what is bad and keep what is clean, and find our purest self. By doing so, we will become healthier and more positive mentally. People need to listen to their conscience, truly get to know themselves and love themselves, so they will be able to love others and the world.
The unprecedented challenges facing the world are putting our wisdom to the test. We need to work together with global citizens to rebuild a happy global community with love and conscience. According to an ancient Chinese book, “First-class doctors treat the country, second-class doctors treat people, and third-class doctors treat diseases.” It described governing a country as treating a patient. Social norms and discipline are like pulses. Morality, decrees and laws are like prescriptions and therapies. Talents are like good medications. Governing the country is like practicing medicine. A government needs to have a good governance framework and uphold the rule of law. Additionally, it is extremely important to find the root of the problem and tackle the problem at its source to truly cure the disease rather than simply treat the symptoms.
In view of the current world situation, this principle helps us evolve from focusing on personal physical and mental health to social and moral health, and then to the world’s holistic health.
World Mental Health Day reminds people to rethink a post-pandemic world and to acknowledge that it is the common responsibility of everyone in the global village to help all humanity and the Earth achieve genuine health and sustainable development. Let's adopt a positive attitude, spread the energy of love, respect and care for one another, and enhance the virtuous circle of social support and mental health, which can be implemented in everyone's life, family, and work. World citizens are encouraged to activate the conscience in their hearts, consolidate the power of kindness, cherish life, treat themselves, others, and the environment with happy and thankful energy, and promote a culture of peace with love and conscience. This will be a first-class prescription for changing the world and improving mental health, and it is also a good recipe for promoting economic development, world peace, and global citizens’ well-being.
Let's awaken more people's conscience with love, build a more harmonious and stable society, create a truly healthy environment and healthy life, and usher in a happy and healthy future!
*Presented at the ICDAY’s virtual event in support of UN World Mental Health Day