In recent weeks in Quebec, the issue of mental health has been particularly present in the media. In a society where one has to do what they are told, where productivity sometimes takes precedence over the needs of the individual, mental health remains a taboo subject, especially for men, who are accustomed to repress all forms of emotion which could betray what would perhaps be interpreted as a sign of weakness.

Jean Riendeau, Columnist

A victim of depression in 2017, Julie Orphanos decided to break the taboos about mental illness by meeting people from all over the province who have been through difficult times, in order to tattoo a semicolon on them, a symbol representing a new beginning: “These tattoos help break the taboos around mental illness” . As one can figure, it will take much more than a tattoo to end this plague, which every day in Quebec leads to 3 people to take their own lives, according to the Quebec Association for the Prevention of Suicide. The causes of mental illness are many, and therefore the there are many solutions to treat them. Psychotherapy, medication, but any treatment must first be justified by an adequate diagnosis, and especially by willingness from the sufferer to recognize their problem and agree to seek help, which is perhaps one of the main obstacles to initiate a treatment.

Treating disease is good, but preventing it is even better. We are barely emerging from an era dominated by the principles of the Catholic religion, where everything related to the spirit was good, and the body was dirty and had to be purified through prayer and at worst through asceticism. Fortunately, we are out of that era of great darkness, but perhaps some mental remnants persist preventing us from blossoming fully and being perfectly “connected” with ourselves. In one of his books, Rael devotes a chapter to sensual education, which captures the importance of awakening the individual from the earliest age on, so that he can experience a totally fulfilling life: “You will awaken the mind of your child, but you will also awaken his or her body, for the awakening of the body is linked to the awakening of the mind” – Intelligent Design, P185 –

This is not a matter of replacing psychotherapy or medication, but rather of a complementary approach where each element provides the individual with tools that will allow him to regain his balance, to take charge of his life and enjoy greater autonomy, because any form of illness, be it physical or mental, removes anyone’s power to enjoy a totally fulfilling life. Another tool that is increasingly popular among the scientific and medical community, for its benefits on the individual’s mental and physical health, is the practice of meditation. Even though at first meditation is not considered therapeutic, it can nevertheless be a powerful tool to treat physical and psychological disorders: “The worst enemies of pain which create more pain, once more time, are fear and anxiety. Meditation can reduce almost more than 90% of the physical pain and 100% of mental pain.” (Rael – Contact 389).

As we can see, meditation, which is gaining more and more followers, deserves to be a tool in the arsenal of approaches and therapies designed to relieve human suffering.  It is capable of helping us reach our full mental and physical health potential, in short, reaching the full development of our being, which is likely to open the door to happiness.

Jean Riendeau
Raelian Church Columnist