As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
I was taking the time to reflect on my previous thoughts, and realized that much of my concerns were quite similar to the research that I recently completed. I could present a scientific perspective with evidence and support from other researchers, but the current events that have taken place are actually an addition to the research, that allow for more questions. We could ask the question, why are more and more successful individuals committing suicide? And why are they turning to prescription drugs for mental / brain health in the first place?
This discussion is complex because it agitates pharmaceutical companies who profit from sales, and also researchers who are paid top dollars to ensure that success rates of their drugs are proven, and backed with successful evidence based research. This is also why alternatives such as creative art therapies, holistic, and naturopathic research and development is left behind. Large empirical studies are not funded. Yet, smaller qualitative, and qualitative studies show positive outcomes. For the industry to take alternative healing approaches seriously, there is a need for funding of large scale studies, so that concrete evidence can be found. Funding is also political. But when we hear, see, witness, increased suicides - can we say that whatever is in place is working? And even if alternatives are approved, the industry wants to know, is this profitable?
Incarceration It's interesting how we can connect research, current events, and film to talk about an issue. While the movie "The Notebook" is a romantic love story, we can think about how mental / brain health is treated in this film. The protagonist Allie is suffering from Dementia. She has lost her memory and is living in a care home. Her husband won't leave her side, because he has a deep belief that her memory can be restored. He does this by reading the story of their love written in journals. Their love story is the story, that is embedded within the story of memory loss. She remembers sometimes, but also suddenly forgets. She is triggered, and therefore restrained. The beautiful well-kept woman, even in her illness takes care of her appearance, is suddenly, tragically ill, an invalid, who is restrained with medical interventions. Her appearance dramatically changes.
This is an example of incarceration. But there are more violent histories associated with incarceration, that stem from the days of asylums. Sometimes it is needed, sometimes it is not, it depends on risk assessment, and how the risk is managed. The unfortunate truth is that the uninformed do fall through the cracks of the mental / brain health system. But as science, technology, brain imaging, and neuroscience progresses, we also see progress within these fields. But again to receive the best care, will also depend on how informed a person is. If you think about it, previous and even present care of individuals who are suffering from any trauma, survivors, or individuals who are at the risk of suicide, receive care that is a trial, error, and based upon the best judgment of the professional, or care team at the present moment. This is where we can also bring forth similarities between the fields of, education and mental / brain health.
Health / Education Connection Students need to be healthy, well-nourished, care for the self, and their brain if they want to be successful. The teacher practitioner also evaluates, assesses, with the use of good judgement to form a learning plan for the students. Often students meet the expectations that are set for the grade level, and often accommodated to meet the needs of the students. In other words there is trial, error, and human judgement involved. But in both cases we must formulate care and learning development from an ethical standpoint. When I say ethical it means to put the patient first, or put the student first. What is in the best interests of the individual that I am serving, because when all is said an done, there are human lives that are being dealt with on a day to day basis. As much as the fields of education and health are politicized, politics have a time and place. Sometimes politics have to remain outside, so that service providers can focus their attention on those who they are serving, especially where there are vulnerable populations involved.