Like almost everyone else on the planet, I sat glued to the television last weekend to watch Oprah's interview with Meghan and Harry. I was dumbfounded that the issue of access to mental health services by a member of the most privileged family on earth, was perceived by that family (or "the firm" that administers them) to be so problematic. Meghan said that when she was feeling despondent - and actually suicidal - she approached an unnamed "higher up" at the Palace to ask for help, and was refused, dismissed and ignored. My heavens....if this is what a wealthy, well-resourced person goes through when she asks for help, what do ordinary people go through?
If you watched my TV show "Family Matters with Justice Harvey Brownstone" (www.familymatterstv.com), you will know that one of my most popular guests in Season 2 was Dr. Irwin Butkowsky, a highly respected Toronto psychologist. He has a no-nonsense, plain language approach to mental health philosophy and concepts. He expresses himself in a way that people can relate to, and by doing so, he makes mental health services more accessible. So it made good sense for me to approach Irwin and ask him to appear on my show once again. I wanted him to address not only the mental health issues raised by Meghan in her interview (the stigma of mental health, the warning signs of suicidal ideation), but also, the mental health impacts arising from a lengthy pandemic.
Irwin was only too happy to oblige. I'm really happy with the interview we have posted. In just over 30 minutes, we covered a lot of important subjects relating to mental health. After we finished recording the interview, Irwin said to me, "Well, Harvey, if this interview helps even just one person, it was worth doing." I would venture to guess that his wise counsel and valuable insights will help many thousands of people. Thank you so much Irwin for making yourself so readily available to share your experience and wisdom. You definitely make this world a better place just by being you.