The fifth session of the Speakers' Forum on Religion and Development in Bangladesh took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh on May 20, 2017. The topic, "Faith, Mental and Emotional Well-Being in Bangladesh" explored the topic of mental health and the critical intersections with religious belief and practice. The forum focused on analyzing particular areas of success and building on these positive reflections. The event provided an overview of mental health, mental wellness, gaps in understanding and action from both regional and local perspectives and highlighted ways to engage religious leaders and faith inspired approaches to overcome stigma around mental illness.
The Speakers’ Forum series is a joint initiative of the World Faiths Development Dialogue and BRAC University’s Department of Economics and Social Sciences. The Forum involves a series of day-long events organized around critical social issues and development challenges. Topics also highlight areas where religious leaders or institutions play significant roles or where a fuller understanding of religious dimensions can enrich development work and policy.
The forums offer a non-politicized space for constructive dialogue on the real and potential contributions of faith-inspired actors to critical development topics, with a view towards deepening the national conversation on religion more broadly. They draw on experience and expertise of scholars and development practitioners from local, regional, and international contexts, thus providing points of comparison and opportunities for mutual learning. They will cultivate a global network of dialogue and collaboration on shared challenges. Easing tensions around religious roles in public affairs and exploring ways forward on divisive and deadlocked social issues are core objectives. Previous forum topics include:Secularism and Faith-inspired Development; Women's Empowerment, Gender Justice, and Religion; Making Pluralism Possible- The Promise and Challenge of Religious Peacebuilding in Bangladesh; and Faith and Education:Contestations around the Madrasa in Bangladesh.