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Feelings by Dr. Kevin Thurston

November 13, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments
Dr. Kevin Thurston

Dr. Kevin Thurston

Dr. Thurston is an expert on men’s feelings.

Stigma is shame. Stigma is silence. Silence hurts Lankville. This is the motto of Dr. Kevin Thurston’s new “Minds Astir” Group.

Minds Astir is an organization that encourages men to become more open-minded about their mental illness. Minds Astir is loosely affiliated with the larger “Rustling Minds” movement. We meet on Wednesdays in my basement office.

Steve Mitchell, Jr. participated in the Mentally-Ill Pumpkin Smash.

Steve Mitchell, Jr. participated in the Mentally-Ill Pumpkin Smash.

Men diagnosed with mental illness comprise over 95% of our population. They experience numerous daily struggles, not only with their symptoms, but also with prejudices and stereotypes that society creates. Minds Astir seeks to eliminate these societal pressures by taking mentally ill men away from the general public and keeping them in a series of apartments which we will be renting in the upcoming weeks and by offering men a series of discounted items at excellent prices.

Everyone became very confused, standing there holding pumpkins with synonyms for insanity written on them.

Minds Astir provides mentally ill men with a series of activities designed to improve their mental health. Shortly after Halloween, for example, we held a pumpkin smash to symbolize the stomping or “smashing” out of mental illness. Some of the pumpkins smashed quite easily– others would not budge. “This symbolizes the intensity and strength mental illness has on all of us,” I said. “Instead of smashing the pumpkins, let’s write words on them in magic marker,” I then suggested. I challenged the mentally ill men to call out common derisive terms for the mentally ill and then sold each patient a permanent chisel tip marker for just $2.29 (excellent deal). The men called out “crazy”, “insane”, “senseless”, “unsettled” and many other terms and we wrote each word on a pumpkin.

Frankly, we lost our way a little after that. Everyone became very confused, standing there holding pumpkins with synonyms for insanity written on them. No one knew what to do– even I didn’t know what to do. It got dark very fast, that is all I can remember.

But that is part of the process. Part of the journey. I’m not sure who cleaned up the pumpkins.

Join “Minds Astir” today.

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