Friday, April 3, 2015

So hard for pilots and nurses..... to put their name on mental illness


After a Germanwings pilot tragically crashed an airplane into the French Alps, along with 149 passengers, the conversation ignited about mental illness and disclosure in the workplace.

Clearly, we need new ideas and platforms of expression to address these issues. Could a literary arts anthology help? A new venue to share our struggles?

At Stanford University, students created 129 pages of raw, intimate and powerful expressions of the experience of both mental and physical illness in "Release.Restart.Review," a literary arts anthology created by and for Stanford University students that focuses on emotional well-being.

"There are two emotions that everyone talks about, which is being happy and being stressed," said senior Abby Belani, who led the student government team that created the anthology. "Everything else falls by the wayside. And if you're feeling anything else at any particular moment, you're encouraged to keep it quiet or to disguise it as one of those two things. So we wanted to get people talking about the sort of emotions that actually encourage them to create art, which is very rarely stressed."

The goal was to promote the idea that well-being is a spectrum, that it's daily, that there's a whole range of human emotion and it's not necessarily negative and it's not necessarily positive and you should feel free to express the entire range that we're capable of," said senior Caitlin Karasik, a well-being team member who edited the anthology.

 "Seeking professional help is OK and it's fine and you should do it and you should take care of yourself, but also that there's mental health outside of the context of illness and outside of disease and that you should pay attention to it and it should be important every day, not just the days when you really need it or you're diagnosed," she added.

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While reading about this wonderful anthology, I couldn't help thinking about nursing students and nurses with mental health challenges....so many are scared silent.....

Is it time for nurses to develop well being teams and a similar anthology? 


http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2015/03/24/through-art-stanford-students-open-conversation-about-mental-health