News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Philip Patston says mental health campaigns miss the mark

Belonging & meaning — without them we may be connected, but we're strangers

Diversity blogger Philip Patston says mental health campaigns miss the mark.

It's always something of a shock when well-known strangers like Charlotte Dawson kill themselves. I felt the same when Greg King suicided in November 2012.

They feel familiar and yet they're not. You feel sad but there's no relationship to mourn. Life goes on with nothing missing.

Perhaps there's even a subconscious, yet obviously false, belief that someone so well-known would have something to live for. Everything even.

But there they are, these minor celebrities, wanting to end it all. Life becomes so bad (hard? sad? meaningless? hopeless?) that there's nothing left to go on for.

It's quite an indictment on modern life that stress, bullying, unhappiness — whatever — can drive even our most successful to end their own lives. No wonder young people are chosing it more and more — "If there's not enough in life for Charlotte or Greg, what's in it for me?" one might ask.

The importance of connection comes up a lot in mental health campaigns these days, but I think they miss the mark. We're more connected than we've ever been as a species.

Belonging and meaning are what's missing, I think, not connection. You can plug a heater into a power point and it's connected. But if you don't turn the switch, there's no heat.

Belonging and meaning are the power that run through connection. They are the warmth and the reason for relationships. They are who we are and why.

I remember when I first started doing comedy. I thought I'd belong to the comedy community, but I didn't. Some friends stopped calling because they thought I'd be out with my new comedian friends, but I wasn't. There was a time when I began to not know where I belonged and, after 15 years of doing comedy, it all became meaningless.

Belonging and meaning. Two things that are free and make great gifts. So give them today. It takes six words: "You mean a lot to me." Or if you can't say it, acronym it: UMAL2M 

Belonging and meaning. Without them, we may be connected, but we're strangers — and life has no meaning.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Werewolf: From The Lost Continent

It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Blue Eyed & Soulful

Last year’s Muscle Shoals documentary was a reminder that on some of soul music’s most hallowed tracks, the studio band consisted of a bunch of white guys from rural Alabama... More>>

ALSO:

Final Event - Number Crunching: NZ Fifth Best Performer At Commonwealth Games

With a haul of 45 medals, New Zealand has outperformed the best predictions of the world’s number crunchers by 440% and beaten our past performance at the Commonwealth Games by 11% per cent, according to a Massey University finance lecturer. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news