The gesture to do more...

The gesture to do more...

This is the time of year when many of us yearn for renewal and the light, i.e. the end of winter.  This is also a time for some when reflection upon their status and purpose come into play, such as with the season of Lent.  In principle, we wish to move forward and to seek meaning in how we position ourselves in our work and relationships.  Though some may consider sacrifice or "giving up" a vice as a positive gesture in the spirit of the season, others may consider doing more or modifying their behavior relative to their work or how they treat others in important relationships.  Over 55 years ago President Kennedy stated in a remarkable State of the Union speech "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" (Kennedy & Sorenson,, 2007, as cited in The Guardian).  As we approach President's Day next week, this reminder surely resonates with the theme of the season when applied to community.  Members of our community - people with mental illness, are marginalized every day in our society (Clement, et. al, 2015). 

The Center for Health and Nursing Research and specifically the Mental Health and Psychological Well-Being SIG are engaged in research to examine the contextual factors contributing to how providers who struggle with their own mental health issues may feel stigmatized let alone how stigma is passed on to recipients of mental health services.  This type of effort supports an idea for us all which resonates this time of year - to look deeper within our own thinking, feeling, and behaviors in support of challenging where stigma, fear, and prejudice live.  We could approach the season and consider how positive it can be to change an adverse behavior or bad habit.  But I suggest that Instead of "giving up" something this time of year maybe we first look to improve or augment ourselves by thoughtful reflection.  Take a closer look and see how behavior change is not merely a gesture to curtail subtly untoward actions but also improving ourselves in a fundamental way moving foward.  I wish all a positive mid-February!

Dr. Todd Hastings, SAS Alumni and Member of CNHR, and the MHPWB SIG.

References

Clement, S., Schauman, O., Graham, T., Maggioni, F., Evans-Lacko, S., Bezborodovs, N., ... & Thornicroft, G. (2015). What is the impact of mental health-related stigma on help-seeking? A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies. Psychological medicine, 45(1), 11-27.

Kennedy, J. F., & Sorensen, T. C. (2007). Ask not what your country can do for you. Guardian News & Media.

Comments

Walker Ladd's picture Walker Ladd | February 12, 2018 7:42 am MST

A deep bow of gratitude to you, Todd. 

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Todd Hastings

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