Sunday, November 28, 2021

Comments by Drew

Showing 1 of 1 comments.

  • Robert, this is a great article and it’s wonderful you shared it here. I’m wondering, though, if you are also reaching out to such aforementioned boards and councils and are initiating these discussions. It sounds like you might be, and are trying to be careful about how you communicate and to whom you communicate.

    As much as I love this site, I think it easily turns into an echo chamber. I love the idea of having dialogues with people who are mainly familiar with the medical model, yet aren’t as aware of other models, such as the social determinants model. I work in a mental health crisis center, and as far as I can tell from my conversation with clinicians, these other frameworks aren’t taught in clinical education. And in the time I did go to school to study psychology, these alternative models definitely were not mentioned. I think there may be great openings for conversation with newly licensed clinicians and psychiatrists who are just going with what they were taught.

    In any case, there may be value as well in at least sending letters to mental health boards and councils (maybe even sending books, like Anatomy of an Epidemic! haha). You are eloquent in your presentation of this discussion, and I would just wish for decision-makers in mental health to hear your words, even if they might be hesitant at first.

    One last thing I will add – though I believe in diplomacy, there are times, as well, where sometimes the pen needs to become the sword. What I mean by that is, with some, the message can be lost due to both their arrogance and due to catering too much to what one believes they would accept. At that point, communication becomes superfluous.

    However, I believe there are times and situations where a hard-hitting truth needs to penetrate the barriers of arrogance – and that may mean speaking to pain points. One pain point is the reason people enter the mental health career field, to help others. If you are conveying how some of what they are doing may actually be HARMING people, that gets their attention. They obviously will not likely agree. But it DOES get them, even for a moment, to take what you have to say seriously. And that may be enough to plant a seed. I would not take this approach with someone who already has some openness.

    However, I have learned the hard way that if I cater too much to a person and try to be too diplomatic, some people will take on the patronizing, dominant role and think your heart is in the right place, but they won’t take you seriously. That, in truth, ends conversation – even if it’s a polite way to do it. And the beliefs remain unquestioned…