During my downtime after my emergency eye surgery, since I was not able to read, I watched a lot of TV. On Friday, June 9, CBS this morning had a segment about a recreational class that teaches how to hear, smell, and see our beautiful planet n our parks. And The 700 Club had a segment about a recent book called The Art of Rest.
On the 11th, CBS Sunday morning featured Musicians on Call. They go into hospitals and senior living facilities and perform music to give encouragement and uplifting to the patients and residents. On this broadcast they also talked about a group of 10 men who met in high school and who get together every February to play a game of tag. It looked quite fun! That same day 60 minutes played a segment about artist JR whose art is called Photography with Dignity.
On one of the programs, I’m sorry I don’t remember, they discussed the increase of suicides in adults. The recent suicides of Katie Spade and Anthony Bordeaux prompted this information.
During this same time everydayhealth.com had a newsletter article about the surprising healthy benefits of taking your exercise outdoors. Really?? The next day they featured a story called Suicides are Increasing in United States—what can we do to prevent it?
So why in the world am I mentioning all this? When I taught school I was a physical education teacher and coach. Physical education along with music and art were considered “specialist” classes. My last year in the classroom was 1994. They were moving more towards decreasing these “special” classes because they were not critical. Even recess was being phased out.
So now it seems we need to be taught how to enjoy the outdoors, how to rest, that music is important for healing, and photography can be used to help us understand how little differences there are between people.
My first husband committed suicide, so this is something I have experience with. As I’m sure we all know, our healthcare system is a mess. Especially services for mental health. There’s such a huge stigma on it, people often don’t get the help they need.
While growing up, I was a Girl Scout and my brothers were Boy Scouts. We camped not only with scouts but with our family as well. We traveled widely throughout the United States by car. Both of my children were in scouts and I made it a priority to spend most of our days being active enjoying the out-of-doors. My son is teaching his children also to enjoy and play and experience the out-of-doors. They are driving from Seattle to Mount Rushmore this summer. What amazing things they will see along the way!
I am not a mental health professional and I do not want to diminish any situation that those who struggle in this area may experience. I would like to know what you think. Have we gotten so far away from enjoying life by being active, listening to good music, and enjoying beautiful art that we need to be taught how to do those things? What are we setting ourselves up for?