Presence of Mind

Posted: September 23rd, 2016

DURING MY ANNUAL ‘Staff Development Review’, I was advised that I should take the Mental Health First Aid Course as part of my university’s commitment to reduce mental health discrimination, raise awareness and offer comfort. Many students confront issues of mental health, and I wonder whether this is due to an increase in psychological problems—often attributed to stress among the young, lack of family support and so on—or if it results from the increasing medicalisation of matters that were hitherto largely swept under the carpet. These caused vast distress to families and friends as well as the individual sufferer. I’m not a doctor (not that sort of doctor, anyway) and I’m no expert in these matters, so while I may identify the existence of a problem, I cannot treat the individual in question but pass students and colleagues onto trained professionals such as counsellors, psychotherapists and psychiatrists.

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