Again Giving Thanks to Psychiatry and Society


Are you ready to be CHEERFUL this year?

It was just about 2 years ago that we did this Thanksgiving video, which was not long after we started this weekly video series on Psychiatry & Society, and not too long after COVID-19 became a major concern. That year most extended family get togethers were by Zoom.

This year is the first that seems more or less completely open to live interactions as COVID is much less of a major health concern, but with the added blessing of Zoom supplementation when desired. Besides COVID and Zoom, this video from 2 years ago seems important for 2 other reasons. One is that I focused on my colleague Carl Hammerschlag, not only for his work for Native Americans, for whom tragic triggers connect to Thanksgiving, but that he thought of his talks as prayers, which seemed to me the best way to think of my own. However, this year will be the first Thanksgiving time when he is no longer with us, having passed away in January of this year. May his memory continue to be a blessing to us all. Secondly, I got to directly thank all of the Psychiatric Times™ staff of the time for making these videos work so well. Actually, I could not imagine at the time that we would still be doing them 2 years later, but such is the continuation of our social psychiatric challenges.

What I would like to add for this year’s rerun is the acronym I have developed to approach a holiday that is often laced with gratitude and/or anxiety, which I imagine as 2 psychological strands of DNA spiraling around each other. This acronym is meant to reduce the anxiety to helpful levels and that in turn allows for more gratitude. The acronym is CHEERFUL and it stands for:

C = Caring

H = Humility

E = Engaging

E = Empathy

R = Respecting

F = Forgiving

U = Unity

L = Love

So, a toast to being CHEERFUL over this Thanksgiving holiday weekend!

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. To create a better world, he is an advocate for treating mental health issues related to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times™.

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