I’ve been doing this writing exercise where you write 300 words a day for about two years now. I have filled many notebooks with random thoughts and ideas, but the easiest way for me to reach my 300 word a day goal is to recount and contemplate a dream.
I’ve had countless dreams that I’ve talked about with friends and my therapist, but the dream I am referring to having had in the title of this post is the hope for a Mental Health Revolution. We caught a glimpse of the notion recently.
Like so many people in this country I found Bernie Sanders to be an inspiration at a time when I needed to be lifted up. I was coming off the tail end of having been very sick and the idea that someone understood that the Mental Health system in this country is broken and was actually saying it on a national stage while I dealt with it in real time, was too much of a coincidence for me to not pay attention.
Sanders actually mentioned in a number of his speeches the fact that there are people “among us who are suicidal and homicidal,” and I would add to that severely depressed and anxious. People that are experiencing Mental Health issues need to have access to help when they need it. Not 6 weeks and 6 months from the onset of a malady.
I can tell you from experience that between insurance, the cost of medication, the availability of good doctors, the stigma and the potential for social isolation, Mental Health care in this country is still in it’s neanderthal phase. And I would be remiss not to mention having lost 6 Mental Health facilities in Chicago alone.
To me Sanders acknowledgement of this quagmire meant that the shit storm I had been dealing with, and continue to deal with didn’t and doesn’t have to be as tumultuous as it was, and continues to be. Treating mental illness in this country is a virtual wild goose chase which only exacerbates an already aggravating set of issues and systems to solve them.
I’ve thought about it and believe that one of the first steps to solving this issue is to collectively pay attention for longer than a news cycle. The more we talk about it the more attention we can give to solving its problems.
I know for certain that my experience is not unique, and I recognize that it could be far worse. The only thing I can tell you is that my eyes have been opened to the need for both Health Care Reform more specifically Mental Health Care reform and a complete face lift for the system that is currently in place in The United States.
My intention is to get more involved with creating this necessary change and the first step I am taking is to talk about it…