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'Whole' living


In a new book, Dr. Murali Krishna seeks to de-stigmatize mental health issues while empowering self for healthier living.

Marisa Mohi March 20th, 2013

Dr. R. Murali Krishna is the president of the Oklahoma State Board of Health, Integris Mental Health and the James L. Hall Jr. Center for Mind, Body and Spirit.

He’s founding president of the Health Alliance for the Uninsured and creator of The Art of Happy Living podcast.

Now he can add “book author” to his list of titles. It might be one reason his office bookshelves, while filled with volumes on psychiatry and mental illness, also have room for a copy of Stephen King’s On Writing.

With the help of Kelly Dyer Fry, editor of The Oklahoman, Krishna wrote Vibrant: To Heal and Be Whole — from India to Oklahoma City. Published last December, it chronicles the psychiatrist’s professional development and the critical role Oklahoma has played in his life.

According to Krishna, Oklahoma City is “the most caring city in the entire world.”

The 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building cemented him views of Oklahomans.

In most cases of tragedy, people flee the disaster. Krishna was struck by how many people ran toward the devastated structure to help, so much so that barriers had to be constructed to keep people from risking their lives to save others.

While Krishna considers Oklahoma home, he said he also was influenced greatly by his childhood in India and growing up with a mother with a mental illness. The experience taught him not only to become a doctor, but to “connect the pain and distress of others.”

It was this capacity for empathy that Krishna credits with making him successful in his field.

Vibrant tackles subjects like living in the moment; resilience; and emotional, physical and spiritual balance. Krishna wants his readers to recognize they have what they need within themselves to achieve these ends.

“They all have hidden resources they may not have realized to cope with things, to heal and become whole, to become vibrant,” he said. “We are helping people to become more aware of the role of mental health and emotional wellness in every aspect of life.”

While helping others comes easily to him, the book title proved more difficult. No suggested title seemed to convey what he wanted.

It wasn’t until he woke up in the middle of the night that the word “vibrant” came to him.

To him, the word “sounds like what Oklahoma City is.”


 
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