She is far from the first nurse murdered or severely injured, and the nursing profession demands to know when is this going to stop. Just last year, I attended a prayer session for a nurse colleague, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, June Onkundi, who I didn’t know personally, but was violently stabbed in a clinic by a patient she was caring for. I cannot express the horror and sorrow, not to mention the reality of the situation that one feels sitting in a pew, facing a young colleague's body lying in a casket. The heartbreak seeing her four young children walk into the church alongside their father who looked catatonic with disbelief. The pain of those of us who were there and paid witness as family and friends paid their tributes and poured their emotions out for hours.
Is it time we radically accept that when humans are unable to self-regulate emotions in a healthy, balanced way, they either implode or explode? Imploders numb emotional pain by overeating, smoking, and/or taking painkillers which can easily lead to a lethal path of addiction or die by suicide. Exploders take their anger and pain out on others.
What if we identified and began to educate people on how to better emotionally regulate? What if we taught this to kids? What if we identified those with no, or grossly debilitated ability, to feel empathy and came up with a way to protect general society from their potential wrath? What if we listened and acted upon the concerns of family, friends, and the community who so often identify these people, who are a danger to others as well as themselves, as potential threats?
These are tough discussions and will take major initiatives to implement. The current alternative, to ignore what is happening and to continually be jolted out of our daily life by the latest horrifying news is terrorizing and not effective in creating a more peaceful, harmonious world. It’s time we take action and tackle this beast.
Your thoughts and comments are welcome.