A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
Compassion Corner is a series from Patient Worthy that will focus on the subject of compassion in the healthcare and rare disease space. In this series, we explore the role of compassion in this field and what it means for caregivers, patients, and others.
The WHO (World Health Organization) reports that one person out of every four individuals experiences mental health issues in their lifetime. Yet estimates are that mental health support is not available to the people who need it most. Therefore, we need to bring mental health to the forefront and create more visibility, accessibility, and affordability. It is in that way we can all live healthier and more fulfilling lives.
At this point, compassion plays a very important role.
When we are compassionate, whether it is to ourselves or to others around us, we improve our well-being. But most of all, compassion can help to remove the stigma of mental illness that limits someone’s willingness or ability to ask for help.
The basic issue is to remove any blame for mental health disorders and accept them as part of life just as with any other health issue. It’s also important to acknowledge that everyone has a range of complex emotions which can surface at any time in their lives.
The challenge is to normalize and establish healthy coping along with enhanced psychological functioning.
The author acknowledges that this will be difficult for some people. Compassion and emotional reflection do not sit well in the company of stress, lack of support, and most of all, mental health issues.
Surprisingly, technology is now considered to be an avenue for the development of innovative intervention as well as support. Exciting opportunities and techniques are waiting to increase our well-being, emotional understanding, and self-compassion.
What is AffecTech?
The European Commission launched the AffecTech project which is an international project coordinated by the UK’s Lancaster University. Its goal is to engage users to understand reaction patterns and increase self-compassion while managing their mental health in a way that fits their lifestyle.