An antidote to hate.

The antidote to hate is compassion. I also see compassion and self-compassion as being inseparable and the remedy to many mental health challenges. 
To me, mental health challenges seem to be the norm rather than the exception; and does not seem to go away with time; and solution may involve a cultural transformation.
According to University and College Health Association:
65 percent of students reported experiencing overwhelming anxiety in the previous year (up from 57 per cent in 2013).
46 per cent reported feeling so depressed in the previous year it was difficult to function (up from 40 per cent in 2013).
13 per cent had seriously considered suicide in the previous year (up from 10 per cent in 2013).
2.2 per cent reported attempting suicide in the last year (up from 1.5 per cent in 2013).
Nine per cent reported attempting suicide sometime in the past (not restricted to last year).
According to CAMH:
By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
The Canadian health care budget is already in excess of $250 Billions. It would seem that some wellness perspectives such as compassion are fundamentally lacking in the contemporary mindset.
For me compassion is a state of awareness rather than knowledge. In my experience, this state of awareness is a process and is coming to me gradually through mindfulness practice and being open to others perspectives. To provide this context for myself and patients in my practice and in my community, I run three weekly self-management psychotherapy groups where participants experience mindfulness training and learn authentic experiences from each other. These groups are insured services, rapidly-accessible, rolling-enrolment and capacity-building. As a result, these groups are open to everyone. I also use these groups to provide experiential learning opportunities for medical learners interested in running groups. (Contact me if anyone is interested to know more or to attend!)
I think wide adoption of such group therapy may be one affordable way to bring about a culture of compassion and wellness:
1. Wide adoption of Mindfulness training programs (such as Mindfulness without Border Ambassador Program) and robust nutrition education at every level of the education system: schools, colleges and universities.
2. Wellness role modeling and promotion by our political leaders, community leaders, celebrities and other opinion makers.
3. Wellness programs in government and private organizations.
4. Expanded availability of group psychotherapy in primary care and beyond.
Thank you for reading!

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