Do We Need an Interdependence Day?


Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness or peace, prosperity, and the pursuit of the common good?

Psychiatry & Society

Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness... These rights may have turned into the myth of the individual more than anything else, and our country reflects isolation, shares H. Steven Moffic, MD. These individual rights became especially apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychiatry itself emphasizes individual therapy over say, group therapy or family therapy.

Do we need to have an explicit day or time of interdependence, meaning we are dependent on one another and need a collective response? Climate change and artificial intelligence demonstrate this especially. Perhaps the values we need to emphasize are peace, prosperity, and the pursuit of the common good, says Moffic.

This July 4th, let's reflect on our interdependence.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry and is now in retirement and retirement as a private pro bono community psychiatrist. A prolific writer and speaker, he has done a weekday column titled “Psychiatric Views on the Daily News” and a weekly video, “Psychiatry & Society,” since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. He was chosen to receive the 2024 Abraham Halpern Humanitarian Award from the American Association for Social Psychiatry. Previously, he received the Administrative Award in 2016 from the American Psychiatric Association, the one-time designation of being a Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Speaker of the Assembly of the APA in 2002, and the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 1991. He is an advocate and activist for mental health issues related to climate instability, physician burnout, and xenophobia. He is now editing the final book in a 4-volume series on religions and psychiatry for Springer: Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianity, and now The Eastern Religions, and Spirituality. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times.

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