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We know what works; we just don't fund it nearly enough.
I've been a licensed clinician for 30 years - everything this author writes is very accurate. Until/unless this culture places value in healthy brains in addition to healthy bodies, we will continue to see broken families and broken individuals. The bottom line here is that this culture simply places no value on those with emotional/mental dysfunctions. At the same time, tragedies like Sandy Hook will raise up cries about the mental health system not doing its "job". Well, this is certainly a case of getting what you pay for. It's a sad and unacceptable reality conflating with a culture of gun violence.
Four years ago our young adult son required hospitalization for depression (suicidal ideation and a plan). In the midst of our overwhelming anguish and fear, we needed to call our insurance company. When we did so, we were told there was no inpatient mental health facility within 50 miles of us that was "in network" for our insurance plan. We live in a suburb of Minneapolis.
"We know what works; we just don't fund it nearly enough." Anoka County Regional Treatment Center is $1,020/day. State prison costs $84.59/day. Guess which is the preferred treatment option...
The importance of mental health is not a new concept, the ancient Greeks and Romans included both a sound mind and a sound body in the definition of health. Over the centuries, though, mental illness came to be viewed as a shameful thing or a sign of weakness or a form of malingering. People suffering mental illness were--and are-- often feared and shunned and, in an era of cut-cut-cut priorities, cries of "lock the crazies away" once again resound throughout the land.
Community based services are the early intervention tool of choice, and have proven effectiveness. The horrible tragedies grab the media attention. What is truely frightening is all the near tragedies avoided that the public never hears about. Please support community based treatment, as it saves lives, money and heartache.
" Please support community based treatment, as it saves lives, money and heartache."...................Allow me to add that Minnesota boasts of the ONLY free walk in counseling center in the country: Walk-In Counseling Center on Chicago Ave. I volunteered there for 17 years and can attest to its services. Free counseling, referrals, resource planning, etc. are all provided by an unpaid staff of 300 volunteer master's level clinicians.
This is at the heart of the matter. And as pumice wisely points out a sound mind in a sound body. "Mens sana incorpore sano" is what the Romans famously called it. My question is: Why won't we also look at ways to strengthen the family. This is where healthy relationships are learned and cultivated. The family is under assault from unguarded internet, video games, television culture with the usual fare of violence, materialism, and sensual stimulation. Allowing too much indulgence and not establishing discipline or limits. This young man came from a dysfunctional family. Father, the protector and was gone, as well as his strong presence. Mother the nurturer was incomplete to deal with what had to be done. That is the importance of family, to have all the pieces in place, to make difficult decisions together for something greater. In this case, to seek the help this young man needed. I think as a society we are more focused on the "new and improved" modern family that is focused on establishing the new idealogy. We don't have a normal anymore.
More people died in the US last Friday at the hands of drunk drivers than from guns. Sure, we could try to pay for everyone's every need to be taken care of by the government. Utopia. Historically, that has not worked - ever. Face it, we live in a diverse world and bad things happen along with the good - with the media slavishly devoted to the former in order to satisfy our collective blood lust. The current debate is valuable in that it may help us, as a society, choose where best to put our resources in order to bring the most good to the most people with the available resources. Lets not get too caught up in the issue of the day. Read, lets not hastily changes the laws that govern us all because of the actions of one individual.
Please porcupine. Video games, the "destruction of the family"....remember when rock music was the devil incarnate, sure to lead young kids of the 50's and 60's straight to hell?
Each generation has it's boogeyman.
In the case of mental illness, that's always there and while it might be exacerbated by other exposure or experiences, it sure isn't CAUSED by them. Video games or a divorce or home schooling didn't kill the kids and teachers at sandy hook--a mentally ill person did.
The truth is not out, but as someone said both the ill themselves and the families of mentally ill are given good reason by society to avoid seeking help. They often want help--they just don't want the ostracism of people like you who blame them!
As a person who suffers from a mental illness, you really have to want to be helped for it to take effect. I have also had to fight, with everything I have, to get the right treatment. I had to look up my symptoms and research everything about what I might be suffering from. I needed to know everything from how it night have started to what to take for it. I had to fight to get seen by a Psychiatrist. I had to fight to be put on the proper medication. If I had not done my research, acknowledging that I had a problem and wanted help, and just took what the "experts" and "insurance companies" told me to take, I would be dead right now! I suffered a stroke at 23 and certain meds that were to be prescribed were ones that stroke victims were to stay away from. By the way, I have yet to find someone who will insure me because of my "pre-existing" condition (ie.Mental Illness)!
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