One Mind Institute’s inaugural Brainstorm Essay Contest has concluded. One Mind Institute produced this contest to enable interested people to publicly add their voices to the national conversation on mental health care. Thirty contestants across the U.S. submitted a total of 36 brief essays detailing their ideas on how to improve mental health care through better science and policy. Almost 900 votes were cast, which are now registered on One Mind Institute's website. The winner has been chosen by popular vote.
We are pleased to announce the results:
First Prize goes to Parameshwaran Ramakrishnan, M.D. for his essay:
Referring to evidence from neurobiology and his own experience as a clinical chaplain, Dr. Ramakrishnan’s essay states that mindfulness training can empower a person’s inner agent, or “spirit”, to manage psychiatric symptoms toward recovery. He proposes a broader use of such techniques in psychiatry, and “more so, emergence of spiritual-psychiatry subspecialty incorporating the tools of neuropsychiatry and clinical training of chaplaincy.”
This essay received the most votes from registered users. Dr. Ramakrishnan will receive two all-day tickets to One Mind Institute's Music Festival for Mental Health on September 7, 2013, to attend the scientific symposium, reception, concert, and dinner. His winning essay will be featured at the scientific symposium portion of the event.
Says Dr. Ramakrishnan, “Winning this contest means a lot. Submitting my essays to One Mind Institute-Brainstorm contest is like sharing my personal dreams with the world, and winning the inaugural contest opens the doors only to a more challenging situation of realizing my dream of developing spirituality as a clinical sub/super-specialty of psychiatry. I would like to thank IMHRO for providing the opportunity to share my dreams and for energizing my efforts in realizing them. God bless the Staglin family!”
Of note, Dr. Ramakrishnan also wrote the essay receiving the second-most votes, National Mental Health Policy To Bridge Chaplaincy With Religious Institution Based Spiritual Care Services.
Special Recognition goes to Mary Palafox for her essay:
Although such a provision was not included in the official rules, One Mind Institute recognizes Ms. Palafox’s essay for its outstanding quality and strong voting performance. Her essay proposes, “Please remove all organic, biologically based disorders and diseases of the brain (such as schizophrenia, schizo-affective, and bipolar disorder) out of behavioral health care/psychiatry back into medicine, within specialties such as neurology, neurobiology and/or neurophysiology, where they belong.” Citing her own experience in caring for her son, she proposes that such a reclassification will remedy current public confusion and better enable persons with such diseases to receive the medical care they need.
Ms. Palafox says, “For me, this essay recognition means a hope that one day, sound neuroscience will replace third party speculation and interests with confident medical knowledge, classifications and treatments for all brain diseases, disorders and related conditions with less stigmatizing diagnostic labels. Together with our Behavioral Health Care system, a more balanced recovery and rehabilitation can be provided, while protecting the patient’s well-being and safety from unnecessary and adverse institutionalized care both medically and judicially.”
We thank all the participants for their thoughtful ideas. All entered essays are available to read, enjoy, and contemplate below.
The views and opinions expressed in the entries to IMHRO’s Brainstorm Essay Contest are those of each entry’s author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of IMHRO.