Repairing the Breach: Mental Health Realities

Go Lean Commentary

Who are the manliest of the manly men?

The Ballers!

No doubt! Talented, athletic and rich. All the men want to be them and all the women want to be with them.

And yet, these ones too have the need for Mental Health services.

If this is the truth for the “greatest of the greats”, how much more so for the “lesser of the Less Than‘s”?

” Everyone is going through something that we can’t see ” – quote by Kevin Love: NBA All-Star and Cleveland Cavaliers Forward.

Kevin Love is in the news right now for something other than basketball, rather Mental Health requirements for men and boys. See the story here, as reported in this PODCAST from NPR’s daily show On-Point:

AUDIO-PODCAST: NPR On-Point: We Need to Talk About Mental Health of Men –

Published March 8, 2018 – Basketball superstar Kevin Love opens up about his panic attacks. Are men getting the kind of Mental Health support they need?

The American experience in Mental Health should be a cautionary tale for neighboring countries. These statistics were related in a previous commentary by the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean:

America is very much troubled with their management of [transactional and degenerative] mental weakness:

Mental Health is a real concern for the population in general and for men in particular. One of the biggest problems is that men rarely want to admit to any problems or seek any help. Yet, the evidence of dysfunction is there:

  • Substance Abuse (Drugs and Alcohol)
  • Suicide

Volumes have been written on the subject. One prominent book is mentioned in the foregoing PODCAST, with this quote:

“A man is as likely to ask for help with Mental Health as he is to ask for directions”. – Terry Real, Psychologist and Author of the book “I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression“. See the critical review in the Appendix below.

This is not just an American issue; where it is reported that 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness in a given year.

The Caribbean also has an atrocious record with Mental Health. If we measure Mental Health deficiencies by substance abuse and suicide, then we are in crisis. Recently (reported in a previous blog-commentary), one Caribbean member-state, Guyana, was rated Number One worldwide for suicides … per capita; Suriname was slightly behind at Number Six

There is a movement to effect change in the Caribbean, among our Black men and boys. We cannot seriously consider the needs of this population without considering the Mental Health realities in the region. We have a lot more information about America’s Mental Health dispositions than we do about the Caribbean’s – this is an expected consequence of Third World status. But we know that there are Mental Health inadequacies. We can glean some insights by analyzing the Mental Health indices from Caribbean-born immigrants in the US. A recent study published this summary:

… a national study found that the small number of Blacks of Caribbean ancestry included in the sample had higher levels of psychological stress compared with US born Blacks,24 and another national study found that persons of Black Caribbean ancestry had a lower frequency of heavy drinking compared with US Blacks in general.25
24. Williams DR. Race, stress, and mental health: findings from the Commonwealth Minority Health Survey. In: Hogue C, Hargraves M, Scott-Collins K, eds. Minority Health in America: Findings and Policy Implication from the Commonwealth Fund Minority Health Survey. Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2000:209–243.

25. Dawson DA. Beyond black, white and Hispanic: race, ethnic origin and drinking patterns in the United States. J Subst Abuse. 1998;10:321–338.

Currently, there is no Caribbean governmental singularity. While there are some integration efforts by language groups (CariCom for English-speaking, Netherland Antilles, French Overseas territories, etc.), there is no one entity to tabulate consumption of Mental Health services in the full Caribbean region.

According to a White Paper by a Caribbean academician, Dr. Donald McCartney of the Bahamas, the Black men and boys of the Caribbean region is a dysfunctional population sub-group. This group is a “hurt people” that “hurt people”. These ones are victims and villains and have experienced a breach in good citizenship. The White Paper addresses the question: “How to repair this breach?”. See that full White Paper here, and an Excerpt as follows:

Repairing the Breach in the Caribbean – Excerpt

By: Donald M. McCartney, D.M., MPA, MSc.Ed. (Hons.), B.A., T.C.

On 16 April 1889, while speaking on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, Frederick Douglass attempted to harness and clarify the defining questions that were of importance, at the time, with respect to Black men and boys. … He raised the following crucial and defining questions:

  1. How does one protect a group from public dissection as if it existed as a mere aberration in the society?
  2. How does one create for that group a group concept so that it is able to sustain itself as a self-respecting group within (the Caribbean) a society, which views it as an aberration?

The answers to these questions must be sought as we search for a way out of the morass in which we, as a people, find ourselves.

Questions, regarding Black men and boys, are being raised … these questions are being revived because many, too many Black men and boys are not a part of the economic structure or the body politic. Upon close examination, it becomes clear that many of them are not in community with their ethnic group.

For the most part, Black men and boys live in isolation, better yet, they are marginalized. They find it difficult to connect with society in general and the significant persons in their lives in particular.

Even though [this] question goes far beyond Black men and boys, it is directly related to our young men in particular and their inability to participate and develop within the body politic and the economic structure of the Caribbean:

How do we expect to engage Black men and boys in constructive dialogue and participation within Caribbean society? …

In order to accomplish the goal of creating a better society for all stakeholders, there must be an integrated plan of action.

See the full White Paper here:

Surely, part of the problem of Black men and boys must be related to Mental Health. There is the need for viable solutions for the Caribbean region to consider.

This commentary revisits the foregoing White Paper; even though there is no mention of Mental Health, this is a consideration of the full width-and-breadth of Caribbean dysfunction. This submission therefore supplements the recent 4-part series on Repairing the Breach; using the foregoing White Paper by Dr. McCartney as the premise. This entry is a Plus-One for the 4 parts of the series from the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean in consideration of solutions – Way Forward – to assuage the plight of Black men and boys. The other commentaries in the series were cataloged as follows:

  1. Repairing the Breach: Hurt People Hurt People
  2. Repairing the Breach: Crime – Need, Greed, Justice & Honor
  3. Repairing the Breach: One Option – National Youth Service
  4. Repairing the Breach: Image Impacts Economics
  5. Repairing the Breach: Mental Health Realities

While all of the previous commentaries related to “how” the stewards for a new Caribbean can assuage the failing dispositions of the Caribbean among our Black men and boys, this supplemental submission highlights the need for universal Mental Health offerings in this region. Think of universal Mental Health as a quilt, a web or fabric with additions and subtractions. All new triggers add to the quilt, all remediation and Mental Health provisions subtract from it. Caribbean communities are re-thinking their views on recreational drug use. There is a movement to legalize and de-criminalize marijuana in society; this was reported previously about Jamaica and see this breaking news here of new legal acceptance in the country of Antigua and Barbuda. With this reality, there is the need for Caribbean Mental Health stakeholders to double-down the outreach for supportive services.

This discussion is relevant for the movement behind the Go Lean book, which serves a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU); there-in is an advocacy to “Improve Healthcare“ in general (Page 156), but It also delves into strategies, tactics and implementations to provide more Mental Health solutions in the Caribbean region. The book projects this regional-federal law that summarizes the need:

Caribbean (Persons) with Disabilities
Modeled after Americans with Disability Act, the Caribbean people with physical and mental disabilities should have equal rights and the provisions of “reasonable accommodations” by the institutions and establishments in the Caribbean. This move would extend a “welcome mat” to tourists, residents and repatriates alike, who may not be considered fully whole, but can still contribute to society and the economic engines, with small adjustments …

In fact, the prime directives of the Go Lean roadmap for the CU federal administration is described as follows:

We have considered a lot of lessons-learned in prior Go Lean commentaries that we glean by considering the US experiences. But the reality of the Black men and boys in the Caribbean is even worse than the disposition of African-Americans in the US (or other Diasporic countries). So we need Mental Health solutions front-and-center if we hope to Repair the Breach in this region. This has been a consistent subject in these previous blog-commentaries; consider this sample: Opioids Addiction and the FDA – ‘Fox guarding the Henhouse’

The American Opioid crisis is a self-made crisis due to the country’s blatant Crony-Capitalism. Big Pharma was allowed to peddle their addictive drugs on an unwitting public, and the regulator, the FDA, was complicit. This American model is a caution for us in the Caribbean. Managing the ‘Strong versus the Weak’ – Mental Disabilities

The creed to protect the Weak from being abused by the Strong is age-old as an honor code. All societies have those that are mentally weak; the Social Contract must allow for protection and remediation of these ones. The Demographic Theory of Elderly Suicide

Failures in Mental Health delivery results in suicides. Among senior citizens, this prevalence is due to the fact that they may not consider themselves as relevant in modern society. We can learn from others on Mental Health remediation and solutions for Caribbean senior citizens. Book Review: ‘The Protest Psychosis’

Advocates for change have often been labeled as insane for not accepting their status quo. This Protest Psychosis often is a distortion by the powerful to resist change and abuse those mandating improvement. Guyana and Suriname Wrestle With High Rates of Suicides

Failures in Mental Health delivery results in suicides and some Caribbean countries have it worse than anywhere else in the world. Sad! Recessions and Public Physical and Mental Health

Mental Health disorders can spark when the economy sours. Public Health officials need to be “on guard” for Mental Health fallout during periods of economic recession. New Hope in the Fight against Alzheimer’s Disease

Everyone ages, and so Alzheimer’s disease is a guaranteed risk in every community. This is a Mental Health reality that must be planned for, so as to ensure the best outcomes for communities.

As related above, men in general do not like to acknowledge the need for Mental Health services, so Caribbean stewards must do some heavy-lifting with its Black men and boys to Repair the Breach they present in this society. There is a Way-Forward for effecting change and elevation.

Repairing the Breach in the Caribbean means “fixing our defects” in the service and delivery of Mental Health remediation. But this challenge is too big for any one member-state alone; this is why we need the economies-of-scale and leverage of an integrated Single Market; the Caribbean region is comprised of 30 member-states and 42 million people. This point was pronounced early in the Go Lean book with the Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 11 – 13) with many statements that demonstrate the need to collaborate so as to optimize Caribbean communities and elevate our Social Contract services:

ix. Whereas the realities of healthcare and an aging population cannot be ignored and cannot be afforded without some advanced mitigation, the Federation must arrange for health plans to consolidate premiums of both healthy and sickly people across the wider base of the entire Caribbean population. The mitigation should extend further to disease management, wellness, mental health, obesity and smoking cessation programs. …

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a Social Contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

The American role model for Mental Health care and support is not ideal; we must pay more than the usual attention and try to do better in the Caribbean. That should not be as hard, when the motive is the Greater Good. This would mean removing the institutional racism and Crony-Capitalism of American life.

The Go Lean book provides a roadmap for doing better, detailing 370-pages of turn-by-turn directions to better optimize the societal engines of economics, security and governance to better deliver on the Social Contract. All segments of the population need support with Mental Health concerns; Black men and boys need it especially, because “hurt people hurt people”.

Repairing the Breach for this population includes identifying, qualifying, proposing and delivering good Mental Health solutions. Only then can our homeland be a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – Book Review: “I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression” (1998)

By: Terrence Real

A revolutionary and hopeful look at depression as a silent epidemic in men that manifests as workaholism, alcoholism, rage, difficulty with intimacy, and abusive behavior by the cofounder of Harvard’s Gender Research Project.

Twenty years of experience treating men and their families has convinced psychotherapist Terrence Real that depression is a silent epidemic in men—that men hide their condition from family, friends, and themselves to avoid the stigma of depression’s “un-manliness.” Problems that we think of as typically male—difficulty with intimacy, workaholism, alcoholism, abusive behavior, and rage—are really attempts to escape depression. And these escape attempts only hurt the people men love and pass their condition on to their children.

This groundbreaking book is the “pathway out of darkness” that these men and their families seek. Real reveals how men can unearth their pain, heal themselves, restore relationships, and break the legacy of abuse. He mixes penetrating analysis with compelling tales of his patients and even his own experiences with depression as the son of a violent, depressed father and the father of two young sons.

Source: Retrieved March 11, 2018 from:


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