I have spent a considerable amount of time exploring the link between physical healthcare (the body) and psychological healthcare (the mind) as it pertains to the Canadian government healthcare system. All of the mandates from the Minister of Health right on down is about protecting the health and safety of all Canadians. I may need to check the Minister’s handbook for their definition of health to be sure, but I think I’ve managed to establish a gap.
Amidst a sea of body do-gooders, there is one organization or unit that promotes mental health, aiming to maintain and improve positive mental health and well being for all of the population. You just have to be mad dog crazy in order to use these resources. I mean eyeball rolling and frothing at the mouth crazy. If you are only confused, frustrated, and slightly twitchy.. well.. you likely won’t get the referral.
It seems to me that we’ve spent decades and decades socially engineering ourselves with unhelpful help. Fast forward to the year 2009, where the conditions of life and moral hazards are shadowed only by imminent economic and ecological disasters of global proportions. Us worry? Pishaw! I can only imagine that the eyeball rolling might be on the rise, and then we will see a bottle-necked system struggling to put out the insanity fire. Good news for all the “ologists” out there.
I’m disappointed with the policymakers and their reactive care. What good is their PhD in textbook knowledge when there is no understanding that the body dies without the mind? I bet Mr. PhD sees the dentist every six months for some preventative maintenance and attention. Where’s my mind maintenance? Just a little cleaning is all… loosen up the guk and keep me on the straight and narrow. Stop me from this inexorable spread into the common pool of lunacy. Well… at least I will have shiny teeth…
With this project and my plight to expose just a small aspect of emotional wellness (in relation to a cancer diagnosis) I have comfortably fallen into the role of emotional educator and resilience scientist. Through my discussions and interviews with people struggling with this disease the best cocktail I found to offer them was to approach them with consolation and encouragement and leave them with confidence and inspiration. We should treat everyone we encounter with the same ingredients. A very human philosophy aimed to help people help themselves. To heal their minds and dig deep for their own resilience. We must become a race of doers and not just helpers.
Imagine for a moment what it would be like to live in a society where most folks were emotionally well-adjusted. Where well-being had human value, putting the health of our minds and emotions on the same level as our bodies. Less crime, less hate, less self-pity and loathing. That’s just to start. One might even be able to hear choruses of Kumbaya coming from under street bridges and that stranger that passes you on the sidewalk might just say hello and look you in the eye. Spend real time with real people talking about real things. Needs, wishes, desires and even fears.
What could be more important than validating someone’s existence? Try it.