"Hope, Respect and Dignity" : One CT Doctor Writes about Mental Illness

Bridge House, CT
In a recent article in the Stamford Times, Dr. Michael Basso writes about the need for those non-medical elements in treatment for mental illness. Things like Hope. Respect. Dignity. And, yes, even Humor.

He spoke at a mental health day center, where many in the group were homeless. He found that the above elements created an interactive, respectful, fun session. Here’s what he had to say about humor:

“I cracked as many jokes as I could before and during the talk and got the patients engaged in having fun. They were also encouraged to make relevant jokes — perhaps the most important innovation of all. The laughter put them further at ease and the jokes engaged them in ways that helped return control back to them — called having an internal locus of control”

Lionel Ketchian, Happiness Club
This reminds me of the Happiness Club, which began in Connecticut but now has spread internationally. Lionel Ketchian, its founder, runs a meeting at Bridge House (“a Clubhouse which is modeled on the Fountain House model of psychiatric rehabilitation. The men and women who attend assist with the running of the program, which helps to restore their sense of purpose, dignity and self worth. Members also work at part time jobs, with staff providing intensive supports”) 

Lionel says he always gets much more than he gives.

I’ve had the privilege of participating in one of the Bridge House Happiness Club meetings. Truly amazing.

Hope. Respect. Dignity. Humor. Yes, please

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One thought on “"Hope, Respect and Dignity" : One CT Doctor Writes about Mental Illness

  1. I love the way you write, the things you write about and the positive attitude that shines through your blog. I am glad to have joined up. I did an essay on my blog about someone I met in a Psychiatric Hospital which may be difficult to read, but I had to be a voice for the man in question. Keep writing and keep up the good work! Blessings, Elizabeth.

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