I'm happy. I'm free. For the next 13 days minus one morning, I am not a part-time community college teacher. I am a blogger. Full-time. Your blogger!
If I have not commented or responded to your recent comments, please forgive me. I read them. I wanted to respond, but I was under a huge gun. Thank you for them, for caring and being so tuned in to me and to each other. That's what community is and we, I believe, are a community. I want us to be.
But now, today, as of 2:40 p.m. this afternoon, the Summer 2009 term at Seneca College is officially over and I am me again, entirely. Not a split personality, driving madly between my life with you, thinking about you, and concerned about you, and my students, and their concerns – trying desperately to get them through my course. If you want a thoughtful and very insightful sense of my life as a part-time community college teacher, read this from The New York Times. My niece, a newly-minted PhD who began teaching today at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh sent it to me and in turn, I've sent it to about 12 of my part-time colleagues, all of whom agree that it was the story of their lives.
Not now, though.
Right now, I have NOOOOOOOOOOOO students. Yipppppeeeeeee!!!!!!!
So, I want to celebrate. Here I sit, with not a thought on my mind. Well, not quite. I have two deadlines that are niggling at me and I'm going to do something about those. That's a good thing.
You know, it's interesting, but since everyone takes August off, it seems, nothing much is happening in the mental health world. I subscribe to about 20 psychiatry, mental health and bipolar blogs and right now the biggest news story is that Prime Time on ABC is airing a show on Mad Pride in a few minutes – the old violence issue will be a focus. You'd think an outfit like ABC News could come up with something other than this tired stereotype.
You know what they say. Good news is snooze news, so it's easier to go after a sensational angle that represents a tiny minority of cases than find the real story. When the media does the diagnosing, as often happens with a sensational crime, I wonder how accurate those diagnoses really are. Well, I'm not going to think about it right now. It's borrrrring.
I'll watch it tomorrow.
Other than that, nothing much is happening in the blogosphere around mental health.
I guess when the psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other psychotherapists go on vacation, "illness takes a holiday," too.
Helen Henderson's piece in this paper a few days ago about a British film called "Schizo, the horror story" was, as always, excellent. Have a look. The Brits are light years ahead of us in challenging mental health discrimination and working to end it. That's exactly what this new mini-movie, produced jointly by the British government and Time to Change, a leading mental health charity, is doing.
While the Mental Health of Commission of Canada is "Making the Case for Peer Support" with yet another cross-country, face-to-face consultation and focus group, we're still the only country in the G8 with no National Mental Health Care Strategy. They're still working on it. As if "peer support" is news. It's important. Very important, but I guess since it's August, nothing else is newsworthy. Please.
How many people are able to access Wellness Action Recovery Plan (WRAP) groups in this country? Or Pathways to Recovery? Does the MHCC even mention Mental Health Recovery on its website in any meaningful way?
But you know what? For the next few days, I don't care. I'm going to relax. Take care of business I've neglected. Doctor's appointments. Spend some time with my husband who doesn't recognize me these days. And my Dandies. Read anything that has nothing to do with what I'm going to be teaching in the fall. Go to a movie, if we can find one that appeals to us. And think about some intriguing material to share with you.
The Fall film line-up doesn't look all that promising, but I don't care. The Toronto International Film Festival is around the corner, and that's always intriguing to read about. Right now, though, this minute? I don't care about anything. I haven't a care in the world. Until September 8, when it's back to school.
On one sad but inevitable note. Senator Edward Kennedy has died. A voice for reason and compassion in health care, all health matters. Yes, especially mental health care. When you consider the madness that is exploding south of the border around securing fair and equitable health care reform so all American people can receive the health care they need, Senator Edward's Kennedy's passing is a true loss and a great tragedy. His voice or reason will be missed.
Be well and speak soon!