In the interests of our collective mental health, we need good, fun news as well as bad – so thank you, MPR raccoon

The last time a raccoon hit global news, it was Conrad, the Toronto raccoon killed on the road (bear with me), which inspired a vigil in tribute. City services left the raccoon on the side of the road for so long that someone left a note and a rose by the body. Soon, a framed photograph of a raccoon popped up; a Sharpie was left to encourage written respects on a card; candles and flowers surrounded the corpse. The raccoon was named Conrad. Most people appreciated the offbeat humour in this; others complained that the raccoon was being “disrespected”, even though it had a better send-off than many humans.

But there can be no ambiguity over the heartwarming tale of what happened to the critter that became known as the MPR raccoon, which has captured the world’s attention over the past couple of days. MPR raccoon (named after Minnesota Public Radio) got stuck on a ledge. Raccoons, which tend to climb upwards when stressed, scaled 23 floors of an office building before getting tired and having a nap on a windowsill. Office workers, powerless behind their sealed-shut...

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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