Faith in the Field

A Historical Theological Perspective on Mental Health

by Sabas Hernan Flores Whittaker



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 5/3/2018

Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 340
ISBN : 9781480862777
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 8.25x11
Page Count : 340
ISBN : 9781480862760

About the Book

Although mental illness has not been eradicated, the move to equate mental illness with a physical “legitimate” illness has resulted in greater understanding on many aspects as to the particular course of the disease. In spite of the difficulties that remain, mental health treatment has come a long way.


Faith in the Field provides a historic, sociological, theological, and research-based perspective on the treatment and study on mental health. It points out the challenges within the field and confronts the political, socioeconomic, theological, scientific, and cultural adversities facing advances in mental health treatment. It also attempts to help eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and those who suffer from it. Combining approaches from psychiatry, psychology, sociology, theology, and nursing, this study aims for a middle ground upon which to build a levee that might ameliorate existing barriers to treatment. Author Sabas Hernan Flores Whittaker, building on his thirty-year career in health care, offers a unique outlook on this timely topic.


This multidisciplinary study considers numerous aspects of mental health treatment from various perspectives, seeking a unified approach that could benefit all.

About the Author

The author, Sabas Hernan Flores Whittaker, was born in Puerto Cortes, Honduras, Central America, his father a Garifuna from Punta Gorda, Roatan, mother a Caymanian of British West Indian descent. Although part Garinagu, he was primarily raised by his Caymanian born grandmother, whom refused to speak Spanish, rather allowed only English and spoke only Elizabethan, or Queens English in her home, hence he grew up in a Spanish speaking country, as a bilingual student at a very early age. Such afforded valuable opportunities to study Spanish in the public school system and English with private tutors, while practicing it regularly among his family.

His early multi lingual education, would later prove to be invaluable, and served rather well, as he disembarked, following an eight year tenure aboard sixteen different ships to pursue a short lived career as an investigator and his education throughout Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the mainland United States. His earlier Queens English mentoring became rather an asset, as he studied, read and easily understood the works of William Shakespeare, and other great classics, while ventured on a part time career as a playwright. With these being primarily, volunteer, local community, theater productions, he was able to write, create and produced 4 stage plays, 2 short films and a featured length screenplay, all to benefit homeless causes, domestic violence, AIDS and other social ills, which plagued communities in which he lived.

His early bilingual abilities, eased the possibilities to quickly adapt and learn other international languages, such as Italian and some Greek, while he sail as a teenager on board, the tug boats, cargo, tankers and later cruise ships, as a merchant marine to ascend to the rank of officer, during the 1970s to early 80’s. Although his language skills would later serve, thus brought far greater benefit and personal satisfaction, years later, as he began to work in health care, as part of our dynamic US population, rapid change in demographics, where Spanish language, grew to a higher demand. He would serve as a translator for the Sexual Transmitted decease (STD) clinic in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands, and later as a psych tech, for the Puerto Rican, Dominican and other Latino immigrants residing in St Thomas. During his thirty year tenure throughout the US Virgin Islands Department of Health, Puerto Rico, Miami, Hartford, Middletown, Meriden and Newington Connecticut, with the Department of Mental Health and Addictions Services (DMHAS), from where he retired, as a Case Manager and Lead Mental Health Worker.

The author has previously written and published five books, 1 Vestiges of A journey, Xlibris, poetry. 2 Africans In The Americas, Our Journey Throughout The World, anthropology, IUniverse. 3 Away From The Field. 4 Tears of Joy Peace and Harmony While The Fire Burns Within, poetry. 5 Songs To Valentines, Songs to Love, Romance in poetry. He has lectured at the University of Syracuse, Trinity College, University of Connecticut, Eastern Connecticut State University and Central Connecticut State University. In years pass, he has also lectured and presented his poetry at various elementary, high schools, churches and community, social gatherings throughout the country.

He has also written and produced two original stage plays, Don’t Look Down On Your Brother if You’re Not Going To Pick Him Up, and Our Journey. One of these produced at the Warner Theater in Torrington Connecticut, to benefit the FISH, Homeless Shelters, 1991. The other was produced at the Middletown High school, as a benefit to the Middletown AIDS Buddy Network, in 1994.

Additionally, to being an author, he is a graphic artist, music composer, and an active member with the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, since 1991. Among his original music compositions, four full length albums, Solo Mi Corazon, Eternal Optimist, Soul Revival and Flight of The Phoenix (Tribute to Middletown). As a painter, furniture builder and sculpture, his most recent art exhibit, was presented at the ODECO sponsored conference, on the plight of Afro Caribbean and Garinagu, women economic empowerment struggles throughout Latin America, at the United Nations, in New York City.

The author, is a father of three handsome grown children, grandpa to two beautiful talented grandchildren. He now lives between Connecticut and New York City, with his beautiful talented wife, the Rev. Dr. Damaris Whittaker. Sabas Whittaker, is a former merchant marine officer, turned historian, bilingual poet, lyricist, artist, painter, music composer, and a retired Mental Health Worker, whom is currently pursuing a PhD, in ecopsychology and plant medicine, with his ultimate goal, being “an attempt to better serve.”

The author proudly and dutifully gives thanks to all, whom inspired thought and shared inspiration to learned… to all with whom, he studied with, to each and all, whom never wavered, nor shied away from teaching sharing throughout the attended scholastic programs, conferences, lectures, in-services, throughout the various teaching hospitals, treatment centers, colleges and universities, where, study, work, research, quest toward knowledge, advocacy, bill-paying and justice is an everyday way of life.

Among former places of employment:

Knud Hansen Memorial Hospital, Long Term Care Psychiatric Unit.

St Thomas USVI St Thomas Hospital, PEC psychiatric ward. St Thomas USVI, 1983

The Institute of Living, Hartford Connecticut, 1985

Miami Bridge Shelter for Runaway Kids 1986

Goodwill Industries Outpatient Geriatric and Developmentally Disable Outreach programs 1985

Connecticut Valley Hospital, Department of Mental Health and Addictions Services 1986-1994

Dutcher Hall Substance Abuse Recovery Unit and Rehab Programs

Battel Hall Traumatic Brain Injury Unit (TBI)

Woodward Hall Geriatric Unit

Whiting Forensic Institute (Evening Float)

Merritt Hall, General Psych and Criminal Insane Division Programs

DMHAS Community Base Initiative, (CBI) Meriden Connecticut 1995 – 2001

Cedar Crest Hospital Acute Latino Psychiatric Unit 2001 – 2005