Why Mental Health Is Losing Its Soul

Shaping mental health following emergencies

Shaping mental health following emergencies

My patients — even the most obviously troubled ones — have repeatedly shown me that their words and actions make sense; that there is a secret meaning they are striving for that I must struggle to understand. So when I hear something that seems self-destructive such as ‘delusions’ or suicidal ideation or self-mutilation, I try to find the underlying meaning, which makes it possible to reach people who feel lost and alone and locked in a private world of torment. One of the gravest dangers afflicting our culture in general and the field of mental health in particular is the assault on human subjectivity; the decreasing interest in honoring and valuing people’s experience. In the craze to map the brain and prescribe pills for psychological disorders, the field of mental health is not only getting hijacked, it is losing its soul. In Dante’s Divine Comedy the Roman poet Virgil accompanies Dante to the underworld.
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AFP RELAXNEWS Monkey Business Images/shutterstock.com Volunteering can boost mental health and help you live longer, according to a new study published Friday. Related Stories U.S. death toll rises to 19 in meningitis outbreak Volunteering to help others doesn’t only feel good it can also improve your mental health and help you live longer, according to a new study published Friday in the journal BMC Public Health. In a review of 40 academic papers by the UK’s University of Exeter, researchers found that volunteers had lower self-rated levels of depression and high levels of well-being and life satisfaction, although findings have yet to confirm this in trials. Volunteers were a fifth less likely to die within the next four to seven years than average. RELATED: GIVEGAB CONNECTS VOLUNTEERS WITH NONPROFITS Volunteering is thought to be especially good for the physical health of older people, by encouraging them to stay active and spend more time outside the home.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/volunteering-add-years-life-study-article-1.1435013

Volunteering could add years to your life, may improve mental health: study

When the plight of those suffering becomes known to the nation and the world, others often become motivated to provide assistance. In spite of their tragic nature, many countries have capitalised emergency situations to build better mental health systems. In order to ensure that those faced with emergencies do not miss the opportunity for mental health reform, World Health Organisation published a new report Building back better: sustainable mental health care after emergencies. The report documented cases from around the world show that it is possible to build mental health systems in the context of emergencies. In a matter of years following the tsunami in 2004, mental health services in Indonesias Aceh province were transformed from a sole institutional hospital to a functioning system of care, revolving around primary health care services and supported by secondary care through general hospitals.
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