How Institutional Organizations Create Mental Health Disorder Milieu

Various institutional and organizational systems create community by connecting the needs of its members to an agenda. While nefarious motives are rare, social patterns and self-interests of institutional benefactors often evolve by harboring and cultivating conditions where mental health disorders flourish. Left unchecked, group members may be psychologically abused (or used) by the organization originally created to help them.

1798 — by William Holland — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

There are many types of organizations, clubs, churches, corporations, schools to name a few. Healthy organizations establish mission statements where their purpose is well defined. Benefits from the organization help advance and foster healthy people. Institutions altruistic attitudes become eclipsed when codependent patterns emerge. For example, what happens when the membership composed of an anxious or depressed population finds mood regulation solutions in the aggrandizement of church leadership. In this case, the member becomes subject to messaging and hidden agenda’s that imprison the member in their emotional struggle. I’m my opinion, this creates situations where unhealthy institutions cultivate environments that attract and keep suffering, instead of encouraging vigor and growth.

Maybe the following three ideas would help reduce the harm on people. First, organizational leaders should educate themselves on psychological challenges including abuse, emotional dysregulation, trauma, other disorders. Second, it may be helpful to view membership as a transition between the various stages of development. This approach is widely accepted in educational systems, but not often sanctioned in clubs or churches. Lastly, transparency in policy and practices (especially in larger organizations) would contribute toward a greater awareness of problematic areas.

Just a few thoughts, curious what you’ve experienced or observed.

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