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Saturday, October 23, 2010

The high rate of suicide in Kimberley, South Africa

This is a follow- up from Deb’s article last week. Although suicide rates are a large concern in many urban communities, lesser developed communities often have much higher suicide rates. 
This clip shows the city of Kimberley, capital of the Northern Cape in South Africa. It’s a city with high unemployment and little opportunities for its people. This is a city which is all too common in most parts of Africa. Youth are caught up in crime, violence, and drug abuse, and have noone to turn to for help. 

Suicide is on the rise in South Africa. Suicide accounts for 17% of deaths in Kimberley, more than twice the national average. 

PS: The sound quality isn't the greatest in this clip, but it gets better in some parts if you just wait a bit. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Stigma of Mental Health

"That failure has already and will continue to come at a tremendous cost to doctors and patients. 'I still believe that the people who are the most vulnerable are often the most empathic,' Dr. Dyrbye said. 'They are the ones who get most attached and put the needs of the patient first.'

Dr. Dyrbye continued, 'Until we know what really helps them and what works best, our learning environment will continue to eat away at our students’ empathy and altruism.'”

I think part of making ourselves aware of mental health issues is dealing with the stigmata of mental illness. Cultures and subpopulations deal with this in different ways (a topic I would like to explore in future posts), but I found this article about risk of doctor suicide very alarming (click on the title of this post); if the medical educational system can't even grapple with the stigmata of mental illness, what hope does that leave for our patients? I don't mean to undermine doctors, especially those with known mental illness. Rather, I believe our society needs a paradigm shift to make everyone able to recognize signs of distress, and for society to make people, especially those who provide health care, not feel less adequate for seeking help. Interestingly, this article spoke specifically about U.S. doctors and medical students which also leaves question about international medical students. Should med students be required to have weekly counseling sessions? Thoughts?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bob Larson- The Exorcist Exposed

Watch Reverend Bob Larson speak about exorcism. He says that the most common cause of demonic possession is sexual abuse (accounting for 50% of demonic possession). He even performs many of his exorcisms publicly. 
The second half of the clip shows Fox interrogating him about his finances since many people claim he has cheated people for money.