“Take This: Where Gaming Meets Mental Health”

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This June 10, 2016 by Chloi Rad on the IGN website, talks about efforts being made to raise awareness of mental health issues to gamers.  One effort includes working on providing an “AFK Room” (for the non-gamers AFK means “Away From Keyboard” and is often used by gamers when they need to step away from their console or computer briefly or to explain a lack of response to someone who didn’t know they wandered away from their computer or console)  In the case of the AFK Rooms, the article indicates that they are meant to be a quiet place staffed by clinicians where attendees at some of the gaming conferences can step away from the noise and chaos they are experiencing.  These rooms have been known to help people who were suicidal, as well as those who are having anxiety issues.   Take This wants to remind gamers that they are not exempt from ever being in need of mental health support, and want to decrease the stigma among gamers towards those who do need support.

I think I would sum this up as simply saying it is an example of gamers helping gamers since the AFK rooms were created by a well-known game company.

“Michelle Obama takes stand on mental health in compelling op-ed”

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This February 17, 2016 article talks about First Lady, Michelle Obama’s stance on Mental Health Care in the United States.

“Gun Violence: Is Obama Right to Cite Mental Illness?”

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This January 17, 2016, Newsweek article By Paul Appelbaum and Jeffrey Lieberman, talks about the reasons that connecting mental health reform to gun reform is a bad idea.

“Spirituality and Mental Health”

The social self.

The social self. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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This January 5, 2016 article by Danielle Nelson on the Jamaica Observer website talks about the struggles between Spirituality and Mental Health because of the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.

“Philly mental health community reflects on Byberry state hospital closure 25 years later “

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This June 22, 2015 article on the NewsWorks website talks about the need to commemorate the people who suffered at Philadelphia State Hospital or “Byberry” as it is often called.  The article also points out that people with mental health issues generally do better when they can receive services in the community instead of being placed in a large institution.  The article also indicates that by nature, large institutions sacrifice the humanity of the people placed there in exchange for efficiency of the work.

“It’s not about mental illness: The big lie that always follows mass shootings by white males”

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This June 18, 2015 article on the SALON website, talks about the many ways that those with mental health issues are losing more and more rights because non-mentally ill people assume myths are facts.  Those who have followed my blog for some time probably have realized I generally don’t do many posts about anything having to do with crimes that the media has decided were the result of mental illness, but this article really hit home as it described how those with mental illnesses are scapegoats and are in many ways being thrown under the bus  as opposed to being treated with the same dignity or respect that non-mentally ill people enjoy.  I have felt for some time that when it comes to a court of law, involving any kind of violent act, that the court should focus on whether the evidence says the accused could have committed the crime or not, and that mental health issues need to be an after thought with evaluations used to help decide what services the person needs whether they are incarcerated or not.  I have never seen media make diabetes the focus of a court case I also have never seen the media make cancer a focus of the court case when a violent act was committed.  So since I have been told for many years that “just like a diabetic has to take insulin for the rest of their life, I will have to take medication for my mental illness for the rest of my life” doesn’t it seem fair to say that ‘just like a person with a mental illness stands trial based on their illness, then so should the person with diabetes stand trial based on their diabetes’.  As for those of you thinking that it makes no sense to try someone who committed a violent crime based on their diagnosis of diabetes, why would you assume it’s OK to do just that when it is a person diagnosed with a mental illness?  both are illnesses and both need treatment, but only those with diabetes are allowed to be treated as a person and not an illness by society.

“Mental health transport crises: Back of police car may not be best solution, experts say”

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This June 15, 2015 NewsOK article talks about the reality faced in Oklahoma because of a lack of mental health treatment facilities.  While this is trying to raise awareness of the issue they have, I felt that it also could be a word of warning to us here in Pennsylvania as a reminder that if we keep underfunding our mental health system, facilities could close leaving us in a situation similar to what folks in Oklahoma are facing.  The article also points out that being placed in handcuffs in the back of a police care when no crime has been committed is also very stigmatizing in itself, so could this also be viewed as something that we could learn from and maybe continue to work on decreasing the transporting of people with mental illnesses handcuffed in police cars.

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