Psychiatry with "Permeable Boundaries"
On June 5th, 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, members of the Department of Psychiatry participated in the White Coats for Black Lives demonstrations in several URMC locations, kneeling for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in remembrance and protest of the murder of George Floyd. Depicted here is the socially distanced demonstration at the Brighton Health Campus, where we provide integrated services for adults and young adults with serious mental illness, addiction disorders, or both.
In 1977, when biomedical reductionism was rampant, George Engel at the University of Rochester wrote that human illness is a complex interaction among biological, psychological, and social factors. Current events remind us that we are more than cells and tissues. We are social and spiritual beings that are connected to one another in more ways than one can imagine. Racism, too, is a form of reductionism that diminishes our humanity based on the color of our skin. Here in the Department of Psychiatry, we stand against all forms of dehumanizing reductionism and strive to be accessible to all regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, marital status, age, physical abilities, political affiliation, or religious beliefs.