Dec. 29, 2019, 3 p.m. | 90 minutes | BYOB
Using Thomas More's Utopia as our foundation, we'll examine our own state of mental and emotional health in present day society during this living room Olio.
Dec. 29, 2019 | in West Village
Why does the future look so bleak? And what does that have to do with the state of our individual and collective mental health?
Much of the dialogue in this Olio will be about our own state of mental and emotional affairs. History is a collection of traumatic events that have been scripted in human blood and mortality and we have all been dropped into its narrative miasma. This makes for a great deal of stress that we will collectively take on in an ad hoc group therapy modality. We will use Thomas More's 'Utopia' to frame our undeniably parallel social issues and better understand not just the text, but ourselves as individuals.
We'll begin by examining trauma and its aftermath (both historically and presently) and end with examining the following NYC Dept. of Health's statistic: that 1 in 5 New Yorkers has a mental disorder. We will then look at how depression and anxiety (two of the most prevalent diagnoses) have affected our present, and perhaps, more importantly, their effects on our collective future.
Questions to think about:
- What are More's thoughts on social ills and their relationship to mental illness? What are yours?
- Would More be surprised at the state of our society today? Why or why not?
- What are the ways in which we can collectively work to become a healthier community/society?
Patricia Kim received her MFA from Columbia University and teaches Composition and Literature classes at Baruch College while completing a novel. She is a licensed social worker who worked for the Mental Health Service Corps. (MHSC) under New York's Thrive initiative and is now a reentry social worker on Rikers Island, providing services to the population of patients on Rikers with serious mental