Behavioral Science in the Global Arena

Global Mental, Spiritual, and Social Health

Edited by:
Elaine P. Congress, Fordham University
Dalton Meister, University of Michigan
Shenae C. Osborn, Fordham University
Harold Takooshian, Fordham University

A volume in the series: International Psychology. Editor(s): Elaine P. Congress, Fordham University. Harold Takooshian, Fordham University.

Published 2022

“How are behavioral scientists increasingly involved to advise global decision-makers in the United Nations and elsewhere?”

In 2020, the Psychology Coalition at the United Nations (PCUN) launched a bold new series of books, describing how evidence- based behavioral research is increasingly used by United Nations and other decision-makers, to address global issues. These issues reflect the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030—such as health, poverty, education, peace, gender equality, and climate change.

This PCUN volume brings together 34 experts in 14 concise chapters, to focus on diverse issues in mental, spiritual, and social health (detailed below). The chapters are co-authored by leading global experts as well as “rising star” students from many nations--offering readers a concise overview of each topic, a glossary of key terms, study questions, and bibliography. This volume is suitable as a textbook for diverse courses in psychology, social work, cross-cultural and international studies.


“Behavioral Science in the Global Arena” is a milestone in the forging of a global psychologist mental health network, able to offer the United Nations solutions to its quest.” — Niels Peter Rygaard, CEO at, and recipient of the 2020 APA International Humanitarian Award

“This volume provides students and professionals committed to international work insights on theoretical frameworks, policy implications and best practices using evidence-based approaches.” — Barbara W. Shank, Dean and Professor Emerita, University of St. Thomas and Secretary, International Association of Schools of Social Work

Foreword, Leslie Popoff. Preface, Elaine Congress and Harold Takooshian. PART I: MENTAL HEALTH. Global Mental Health: Collaborating for Sustainable Development and Well-Being, Kelly O’Donnell, Julian Eaton, and Michèle Lewis O’Donnell. Mental Health: COVID-19, Stress, and Coping, Charlene Minaya and Dean R. McKay. Suicide Prevention: Global Trends, Ani Kalayjian and Amna Khan. Mental Health in the Workplace, Priyadharshany Sandanapitchai, Walter Reichman, and Mathian Osicki. International Day of Happiness at the UN, and the COVID-19 Crisis, T. Hamid Al-Bayati and Frances B. Biroc. PART II: SPIRITUAL HEALTH. Spiritual Health for Christians and Jews: Seeking God, Daniel LeBlanc, Shenae C. Osborn, and Odetta A. Saul. Spiritual Health in Muslim Communities: Striving for Taqwa, Sameena V. Azhar and Rayamar Alarshi. Spiritual Health in Hindu Communities: In Pursuit of Moksha, Sameena V. Azhar and Sanhaya Soi. PART III: INTERPERSONAL HEALTH. Overcoming Prejudice and Discrimination Through Resilience of Indigenous Peoples, Hilary N. Weaver. Racism and Mental Health: An Overview, Anne Williams Isom and Odetta A. Saul. Violence Against Women and Girls Across the Lifespan, Marciana L. Popescu, Patricia Brownell, and Tamara Pyatetskaya. Promoting Prosocial Behavior Through “Everyday Heroism:” The Heroic Imagination Project, Elaine H. Olaoye, Philip G. Zimbardo, and Zsuzsanna M. Feher. Caring Justice World-Wide: Co-Creating Compassionate, Safe, and Healthy Communities, Tina Maschi, Smita Dewan, Sandra Turner, Adriana Kaye, Annette Hintenach, and Sarah Malis. Mediation: The Changing Global Landscape, Maria R. Volpe. Concluding Remarks, Dalton Meister. Contributors.