The Mental Health-Illness discussion. A need for urgent change, and updates in nuanced conversations, at all levels of the mental illness spectrum.

The Nuances in the Mental Health-Illness Discussion 2021

ACADEMIA NEEDS TO MEET – PEER TO PEER LANGUAGE – WE NEED TO CALL ‘SPADE – SPADE’ – A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING MUST REACH THE CONSUMER, CARERS AND FAMILIES.

THE NARRATIVE MUST BE MADE USER-FRIENDLY – TALKING ABOUT SUICIDE IN 2021 STILL IS A TABU – GOVERNMENTS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS ARE DRIVING ‘MENTAL HEALTH’ POLICIES REGARDING THE REPORTING INA WAY THAT THE TRUTH IS ‘RESERVED’ FOR THE SO CALLED ‘EXPERTS’

To me, one of those leaving with bipolar disorder type II, just round the corner (the fastidious ‘black dog’ that doesn’t understand the concept of ‘cheating’ on the patient. Have experienced this rollercoaster since 1988, the year after I retired for first time (only retired twice, yet not the Dame Nellie Melba) from rugby union playing. For the last 33 years I have learnt quite well about antidepressants, depressants, mood stabilisers, CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive therapy), Psychiatry, Psychology, Counselling, Neurology, Peer to Peer self-help, Education, Awareness, Suicide Prevention, etc. Nevertheless, my optic is Not of a Professor or a Researcher or even a GP!

Dr TOPO works on MHMP&S (Mental Health Management Plans & Strategies). For me first port of call is to sit beside the troubled person so the communication at first is Not ‘face-to-face’. I LEND MY EAR, AND LISTEN GOOD, WITH ATTENTION TO THE ‘MEANINGS’ (Some people have difficulties to articulate their feelings, particularly when chronically depressed). Do not give advice or ‘prescribe’ magic solutions unless you know the subject well – Pure empathy, closed ended brief questions, and… let the sufferer TALK, TALK, AND MORE TALK. For those inclined to ‘measure’ things, it should be around 90% listening 10% talk or questioning.

Should the suffering person decide Not-to-talk? – Ok, put an arm around the shoulders, and say something along these lines. Listen XYZ, I am going nowhere, I am here for you, got a couple of hours and nothing better to do right now, let’s just enjoy and soak up each other’s company, and if and only if you want to open, just tell me what is going through your mind and soul. Emotional Intelligence at its best. Please read about (EI).

In these thirty-three long years, have had no less than 25 depressive episodes ranging from 1 to 6 or 12 months, no sciences or professional can tell you neither ‘How-long-you-are-in jail for’, nor the crime you have committed, and no court justice either. Bipolar disorder is like a ‘flamboyant black dog who loves spending big, partying, and doing anything to you, but at the end of the visit, you are stuck with the bill (not my creation, but cannot remember who said it). I detest ‘plagiarism’. So, I learnt not claim ownership when is not mine. And when I remember the author, I reference it.

Here comes the syringe, the pointing finger, the call to order. Why is it, that Australians are afraid to discuss everyday subjects, everyday problems such as suicide? – Admit of inadequate home education, also schools and universities. For many years now, we have been held to ransom by the ‘political correctness’ minorities? Who incidentally soon will want to become ‘majority’?

EDUCATION, AWARENESS, DESTIGMATISATION are the key tools for PREVENTION and the best form of PROTECTION. These must be instituted as ongoing strategies, from primary school upwards. They must be constantly delivered and reminded, like the driving speed limits signs and fines.

Here is a fantastic opportunity for Education to team up with Health and Sports in the communities, for the greater good. This formula E+H+S is globally undisputed. Thus, why politicians do not GRAB THE BALL AND RUN WITH IT. We all will be the winners!

Therefore, I propose a plan with the following pillars…

  1. Plain language (no sweeteners or cushioning)
  2. Overall commitment of authorities at all levels (cannot de selective or discriminatory)
  3. Government and Corporate funding mandatory (social responsibility policies)
  4. Early intervention at humanistic level (friends’ company, peer to peer approach, etc.)
  5. Re-Education of society, (on How to deal with a pandemic, loss of jobs, illnesses, homelessness, substances addiction, and the many other challenges of modern life)

Some tips and point which may help in communication to assist fellow human beings

Enrique TOPO Rodriguez

BEF (BIPOLAR Education Foundation)

MHMP&S (Mental Health Management Plans & Strategies)

Wellbeing Leadership & Sport Pty Ltd

PO Box 4131, Carlton NSW 2218 Australia.

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