Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, January 21, 2013

Another TED talk that brought tears to my eyes.

I was not intending to blog today. I have had a day of renovating and was painting till quite late in the evening. I then blobbed out in front of my computer to watch TED talks. One brought tears to my eyes. In our drop in centre we have lots of people with mental health issues. I will sometimes have lengthy conversations with people who have lost touch with reality. I once had a man ask to play table tennis with me. "Playing table tennis," he said, "helps me ignore these voices in my head." I often feel frustrated because I do not know how to help them and I know they need more care than they are receiving. Tonight I watched a talk by Vikram Patel speak about "Mental health for all by involving all." I loved his thinking, his compassion and agreed with his concerns about the state of care for those suffering with mental health issues. I would love to know more about his methods of training lay people.  I then went on to listen to this great talk by a lady, Elyn Saks, (A tale of mental illness) who talks about mental health from the inside. I found it inspiring, challenging and very moving.  I recommend it. In some ways it is not very comfortable listening but it gives you a deeper understanding of these people. It will expand your circle of compassion and understanding. She emphasizes that they are NOT "schizophrenics", "We are people with schizophrenia".  It is a very different perspective.

No comments: