Symposium on Intersectionalities between Health, Spirituality and Sociology.

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Update on Symposium

National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) held a symposium on 1st June 2024 at Kg.Simee, Ipoh where they inaugurated its NCSM-Caritas hall on the same day.

The symposium was attended by the St.Vincent de Paul, Sathya Sai Baba organization, Lion’s Club, Rotary Club, and some individual community volunteers. Doctors from NCSM, Deacon Paul, Dr.Mary Bharathy, and Cardinal Bp.Sebastian Francis shared insights focusing on Intersectionalities between Health, Spirituality, and Sociology.

Dr.Muralli from NCSM mediated a forum by having the presented social mission organizations representatives as panels where they spoke about the core mission of their respective organizations. From the forum, it is clear that the direction of almost all the organizations is similar which is to serve the poor, the limitations are the differences among the organizations. The representatives of the organizations mentioned that they are open to collaborations to work on certain areas that are within their strengths.

Summary from National Cancer Society Malaysia:

The NCSM-CARITAS has also the ‘Children Home of Hope’ & ‘Adults’ Home of Hope’ which provides FREE accommodation for underprivileged child and adult cancer patients and their caregivers, while they undergo treatment at hospitals.

Dr Muralli: Health wellbeing

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Murallitharan M., Managing Director of NSCM spoke on Unwrapping the Health Box and uncovering the 6 components of the Wellbeing of individuals. We have 1) Mental – coping with stresses; 2) Physical – maintain quality of life; 3) Finance – secure and in control; 4) Work – engage and like what you do; 5) Community – belonging and connectedness; and 6) Social – meaningful relationships.

Cardinal Sebastian Francis: Spirituality wellbeing

Cardinal Sebastian gave the keynote address speaking on the Spirituality of Health. The human structure according to St Paul is that human beings are a composite being of body, soul and spirit. The Soma (Body) is physical health; Psyche (thoughts, feelings, memories) are psychology and sociology; and Pneume (Holy Spirit) is capacity for transcendence & divinity. The Asian holistic medicinal approach takes the view of the universal interconnectedness and balance of mind, body, spirit and environment.

Deacon Paul: Pastoral Care

Rev. Deacon Paul Kang Hang Bian, CEO of Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital Penang, followed through the personal experiences of the cancer patient journey from cancer screening, feel shock like body slam when get a positive result followed with Oncology and Palliative-Hospice Care continuum, then to end life treatment with emotional, family and community support together with the pastoral care and Ministry of Presence in the Psycho-Spiritual system.

Dr Mary Bharathy: Mental wellbeing

Dr Mary Bharathy, Psychiatrist & Board Member of Caritas Penang gave a talk on “The Role of Mental Health in Physical Healing” with an overview of mental health and scientific evidences backing the connection between mental health and physical healing. She ended her talk with integrated mental approaches in physical healing.

Forum Discussion

There was also a Forum discussion on providing holistic care in the community, experiences and opportunities followed with a Workshop sharing in envisioning a framework for holistic care services in Malaysia.

Credit: National Cancer Society Malaysia.

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