We need to continue to raise awareness regarding mental health. Focus on mental health shouldn’t revolve around those with real or perceived mental illness committing violent crimes. Instead, it should be brought to the American conscious much like AIDS or Cancer.
Mental Health encompasses so much more than one illness. It includes ADHD, schizophrenia, Autism, Bipolar, and so many other axis of diagnosis. Much like an MD, doctors can specialize in one area of mental health.
To raise awareness, people need to use their voices. Parents and patients alike need to voice their stories.
Raising awareness begins with one voice in a forest. Who will be that voice? You? Me? Our children?
In my mind, the answer is all of us. We all need to be that voice in the forest, because the forest is a vast wilderness of people who don’t understand what the mentally ill or the people who care for them are dealing with. In order to advocate for change in the mental healthcare system, we need to ensure that people are aware of what is needed.
This past Friday I had the fantastic opportunity to speak to a group of professionals about the culture of care in my state regarding mental health. I spoke about David. About adoption, behaviors, fear, and asking for help. I also spoke about the failures in getting him help. About the frustrations that I feel as a parent in trying to get him the services and help that he needs. The culture surrounding mental health needs to change.
Don’t think that you have a voice?
I bet that you do.
Your voice exists every time that you talk about mental illness.
Your voice exists when you tell a doctor or therapist what you or your child need.
Your voice exists when you share the behaviors of your loved one.
Use your voice.
Don’t know how? I can help. If I can’t help, I can recommend people in your area that can help you.
Need a voice? Contact me, I would be more than happy to speak to your group.