Mental Health Needs Serious Attention

first_imgMedical doctors and physicians in a lecture series on June 23 raised an alarm that mental illness has become an unrecognized emergency that needs the collective effort of every party to fight. It means as doctors are at the forefront by providing medication and counseling for affected people, so is the government to provide the resources and facilities that will create the enabling environment for addressing the problem.Not only that doctors and government will play these cardinal roles, parents or relatives of affected people need to also care for the affected person while people taking risk of doing or consuming things that may serve as conduits for mental illness need to stop.According to the vice president of the Liberia chapter for the West African College of Physicians (WACP), Rose Jallah Macauley, one major cause of mental illness in Liberia today is drug abuse. Although she did not provide any statistics regarding cases of mental illness resulting from drug abuse, it is no doubt that many young people have turned to be drug addicts as ‘ghettos’ are erected in most parts of the country, especially the city areas.The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the Liberia National Police and presidential task force have on many occasions arrested drug abusers and even traffickers of dangerous drugs into the country. It is sad to note that despite attempts to battle against the production, trafficking and sale of these drugs to prevent abuse by young people, the Drug Law of Liberia remains stuck in committee room at the National Legislature and there is no deterrent law at present.World Health Organization (WHO) statistics show that about 130,000 people in this country have severe mental illness, reinforcing the call by Dr. Jallah to have a rehabilitation center for mentally ill people to undergo counseling and receive treatment for their conditions.The country is faced with a few consequences resulting from mental illness that can be underscored here. Severe mental illness is seriously decreasing the human resource capacity of the country. Some of the affected people could have become teachers, physicians and doctors, nurses and other useful people that can deliver valuable services in the Liberian society. But as the case is now, instead of these people being useful to the society, they have become societal burdens that government is called upon to provide money to cater for.As cases of mental illness increase, so is the danger posed to the rest of the people who mix up with mentally ill people in the streets on a daily basis. Any of these mentally ill people could be agitated to injure or harm anyone at any time. Who will take responsibility for such actions by mentally ill people? Everyone needs security; either the mentally ill person or the ordinary person. It is therefore possible that if a mentally ill person causes anyone to sustain an injury, the person can also react against the perpetrator, and more problems will arise.This newspaper, the Daily Observer, is therefore urging the government to attach seriousness to the passage of the Drug Law to deter traffickers and abusers and reduce the risk of mental illness. During the Ebola epidemic of 2014, there were survivors and relatives of victims who developed trauma. There are also other social conditions that are affecting people thus causing them to develop mental illness. The WHO also says about 400,000 people are suffering from some form of mental illness. We call on the government to therefore provide facilities that will accommodate such people, where care and counseling will be given them to overcome the issues that cause mental stress.The Daily Observer could disregard this societal problem as anyone else, but let us learn from the story, “Town trap is not for rat alone” written by Professor Wilton Sankawulo in one of his publications, Marriage of Wisdom. The cows, sheep, goats and pigs felt that they were not rat eaters, and therefore could not loosen the trap to allow cat in to find rats. But as the trap caught the rattle snake and the snake in turn bit the King’s daughter and she died, there were no other livestock to kill during the feast but cows, goats and sheep.Let the government and other people learn from some of these stories to put proper facilities in place to prevent future problems. Mental illness is increasing and overcoming the population. Let us be aware of this pressing unrecognized national emergency to develop plans to tackle it so we can continue to have a society that is at peace with itself.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Physicists demonstrate a time cloaking device

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Physicists scale up invisibility cloaks using natural crystals © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Physicists demonstrate a time cloaking device (2011, July 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-physicists-cloaking-device.html Unlike other proven cloaking devices that work by bending light around objects, this cloaking device works by compressing the light passing through the optical cable by means of a special silicon lens that causes some of the light passing through it to speed up and some to slow down, which causes the waves to divide. Another lens, a little farther up the cable then causes the light to be put back together. The result is light emerging from the end of the cable that appears to be unaltered, which means, for the little bit of space between the lenses, things have or could have gone on, with no record of it occurring.While it appears the new technology might be used for signal processing application, it appears equally likely it might be used for both good and bad purpose as well. For example, if coded messages could be hidden in a series of these cloaks, it would be mighty difficult to intercept them, making for very secure communications. On the other hand, it also seems logical to conclude that such a hidden time lag, if it could be made to pulse on and off, over and over as a data is passing through, could be used to intercept data without there being a record of it.In the demonstration, the reason that creating a temporary gap in the light in a fiber optic cable is considered to be cloaking time is because of the type of duality that exists between space and time in electromagnetic theory, which says in short, that diffraction and dispersion are symmetric in spacetime.If only the technology could be expanded to real world size, you could step between two lenses, and do anything you wish, and it would never be recorded in time; for the rest of the world, it would never have happened. Alas, it’s not to be however, the researchers point out that they don’t expect the technique could ever produce a gap that lasts any longer than 120 microseconds, not nearly enough time to do anything worth hiding.center_img Physicists Moti Fridman and colleagues at Cornell University have successfully demonstrated a so-called time cloaking device that is able to “hide” time for 15 trillionths of a second. In a paper published on arXiv, the researchers describe how they were able to cause light passing through a fiber optic cable to compress, than decompress, causing a hole or void to exist, long enough for there to be a lag between the two. More information: Demonstration of temporal cloaking, arXiv:1107.2062v1AbstractRecent research has uncovered a remarkable ability to manipulate and control electromagnetic fields to produce effects such as perfect imaging and spatial cloaking. To achieve spatial cloaking, the index of refraction is manipulated to flow light from a probe around an object in such a way that a “hole” in space is created, and it remains hidden. Alternatively, it may be desirable to cloak the occurrence of an event over a finite time period, and the idea of temporal cloaking was proposed in which the dispersion of the material is manipulated in time to produce a “time hole” in the probe beam to hide the occurrence of the event from the observer. This approach is based on accelerating and slowing down the front and rear parts, respectively, of the probe beam to create a well controlled temporal gap in which the event occurs so the probe beam is not modified in any way by the event. The probe beam is then restored to its original form by the reverse manipulation of the dispersion. Here we present an experimental demonstration of temporal cloaking by applying concepts from the time-space duality between diffraction and dispersive broadening. We characterize the performance of our temporal cloak by detecting the spectral modification of a probe beam due to an optical interaction while the cloak is turned off and on and show that the event is observed when the cloak is turned off but becomes undetectable when the cloak is turned on. These results are a significant step toward the development of full spatio-temporal cloaking. Explore furtherlast_img read more