Doing No Harm

I’ve decided to edit this post, following a series of misinterpretations and evidently poor communication on my part that led my someone to contact my supervisor at work to complain. I’m saddened that some people seem to presume that my intent is to break down and diminish faith or instill doubt in church leaders. My intent was only ever to suggest that policy change can help protect our most vulnerable members. I feel passionately about this because I work on a daily basis with those who were mistreated or abused when they were in that vulnerable position. Since the time my post was published, the LDS Church released a statement revising the policies for children being interviewed by church leaders. I’m glad this has happened and am hopeful that continued efforts will lead to greater safety for everyone. If you would like a copy of my original post, you can request one using the contact form on my website.

Helping a Loved One With Mental Illness

Questions this post seeks to answer:

How can I help a friend or family member who has mental illness?

How does talking and listening help someone who is struggling?

Is there a “right” or “wrong” way to talk to someone who has mental illness?

Outside of the university counseling center I work at, we have some shelves with a dozen or so handouts that we think students passing by might be interested in. These handouts give basic information about managing stress, healthy sleep habits, and signs of mental illness. Most of the handouts last for a while and only have to be replenished every so often; however, one handout flies off the shelf at a much faster rate than all the rest. It’s our “How to Help a Friend Who’s Depressed” handout. Continue reading “Helping a Loved One With Mental Illness”

Confirmation Bias

When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with NBA basketball. Most mornings, I’d go out to get the newspaper and open the sports section to look at the stats and game results from the night before. I became very interested in basketball statistics and would take every chance I could to look them up. At some point, as I was perusing basketball statistics, I came across the statistics of a player named Wilt Chamberlain, who played throughout the 1960s and into the early 70s. Statistically, the guy was an absolute monster. In the 1961-1962 season, he averaged a whopping 50.4 points per game, while also averaging over 25 rebounds per game (these are both incredibly high averages). He holds the top four records for points per game for an entire season. He once had a game where he scored 100 points, and he holds four of the top five single-game scoring records. For a guy with a strong interest in basketball statistics, Wilt Chamberlain was in a class of his own. Continue reading “Confirmation Bias”

Dynamics

In the fall of 1990, the Oakland Athletics were near the top of the major league baseball world. Though they had just lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, this was their third consecutive trip to the world series, and they were coming off of a 1989 championship year. They had a star-studded roster with the likes of future hall of famers Rickey Henderson and Dennis Eckersley, veteran all-star Bob Welch, and up-and-coming stars Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. In fact, during the following year, the “A’s” would have the highest salary budget in all of major league baseball.

Continue reading “Dynamics”