Thursday, September 14, 2006

A third killing spree tragedy in Montreal academic milieu since 1989

Our town, which is normally so safe, was shocked again yesterday by a violent event (see BBC - Probe into Canada college attack). I hear a psychiatrist on tv today, whose name is Nicolas Bergeron, a specialist in post traumatic stress disorder who works at the Centre hospitalier de l'université de Montréal, and who is also vice-president of Médecins du Monde in Canada. Doctor Bergeron says that a question we should ask now in our society is how suffering has to be managed. He was referring to the gunman's distress, which was manifest long before the event (each of the three events in fact) and was never properly treated.

I concur wholeheartedly with Nicolas. If we are to prevent us from spilling blood all over the place, we have to prevent suffering from driving us mad. Mental illness, said someone, is the worst problem in the world... and the second one is the way we treat it!

Well, there are many candidates to the first rank among problems, but I believe no coherent strategy or prioritizing will ever be possible for dealing with all our various woes until we pay systematic attention to the very basic problem of suffering. Like in this Wikipedia draft page, which might be a beginning among other 'academic' initiatives.


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