Book of Proceedings: Keynote Paper: “The heart of healing – a compassionate approach to mental illness.”

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Authors: Robin Youngson

Year: 2016

Event: 2016 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Book of Proceedings 2016, conference papers, proceedings papers

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 978-0-9945702-1-5

Abstract: Paper from TheMHS Conference 2016 Book of Proceedings: People. Authenticity Starts in the Heart. The Conference was held in Auckland, New Zealand 23 - 26 August 2016.

As an anaesthetist, I discovered that adding compassion to my pre-op consultation could reduce anxiety, halve the use of narcotics post-op, enhance wound healing, improve surgical outcomes, and reduce the length of hospital stay. What I learned about the neuroscience, physiology and epigenetics of compassion was equally astonishing. Then I began to hear stories of profound healing, where deeply depressed and suicidal patients turned their lives around when their doctors had the courage to stop treating and start listening. How can we understand this connection between compassion and healing? Are compassion, inflammation and mental illness linked? And how can we leverage the power of self-compassion, therapeutic compassion, and compassionate communities to improve the health and wellbeing of mental health clients and those caring for them?

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