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This week's editorial

Editor Joan Ritchie's editorial from this week's issue of The Moose Jaw Express.
Editorial_JoanRitchie

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie

There’s a very interesting article included in this edition regarding the detrimental effects that the pandemic has caused on the population’s mental health.  It’s a candid conversation with Phyllis O'Connor, Executive Director for the Saskatchewan Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). 

“It’s a climate of people who are shorter on patience. Quicker to get angry or have anger all of the time…there was a marked change in their attitudes,” said O’Connor. 

The article basically states that because of the isolation experienced and the lack of social connections made throughout the pandemic era, a major impact was made on people’s mental health regarding their interaction with others.  It has changed a large portion of the population to have less empathy or rather a compassion fatigue, as well as having a change in their attitudes towards people that surfaces in angry outbursts or a continual rage. 

An anger issue seems to be very evident in our industry over the last couple of years, as we seem to have noticed an increase in outbursts of anger directed at our media.  Because of articles or letters to the editor that are disliked, some seem to feel the need to lash out with insults and derogatory comments quite often directed at us.  The interesting thing is, the very same people who seem to emote their disdain usually never sign their name to their comments. 

I’m not sure if the social media platform is possibly to blame for the way people feel the need to express themselves off-the-cuff, quite often in the meanest of ways and use anonymity to state their claim.  These individuals seem to be nothing more than cowards and bullies thinking their discourse is warranted.    

In another vein, maybe we could chalk their anger and berating comments up as a pandemic-related issue that could possibly be responsible for distorting their mental wellness.

But the good news may be there is help available to angry individuals. Coping strategies may quell the anger and outbursts for those who possibly cannot contain their emotions and seemingly target others with their rage. 

O’Connor says that if a person needs help to make the first steps or navigate the medical system to find the help they need from a professional, the CMHA is glad to assist a person to do so.  O’Connor said the CMHA is not a referral service and cannot refer someone to see a psychiatrist, psychologist or a counsellor. But at the same time, the CMHA will help an individual through the maze to get help and advocate for a person as much as they can.

The CMHA Saskatchewan Division is located at 2702, 12th Ave. in Regina.  They can be reached at 1-800-461-5483 or 306-525-5601 (in Regina). 

For more information visit the CMHA website at https://sk.cmha.ca/about-cmha/

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.