More attention has been swarming around depression. I hope these discussions never stop. Unfortunately after the dust settles it seems people forget and move on. Until it happens again and again. “It” is another suicide in the headlines.
What is mind boggling for me is to see how much we lack proper mental health care help and opportunities in this country. I remember not too long ago a healthcare facility that I work with eliminated their mental health department in the hospital. Um, what?! And I remember getting the courage to ask where those potential patients will go that need to be there. The answer, jokingly of course, “Why, are you looking for where you’ll need to go?” Um, what? I nervously laughed it off and that was the end of that. Right there sums up the general reaction and feelings towards mental health care. Again, um WHAT?! I still wonder why they eliminated this care and where these patients are supposed to go. This is just a small example of a growing problem. Most of these homeless people I have seen in larger cities are in need of placement in a facility for mental health either for brief treatment and medication or permanent. It is so sad it breaks my heart. Jails and prisons are full of people that are in dire need of mental health care. We just locked them away and forget about it.
Ok, so we don’t have many places for people to go. The places and treatment options that are available, are they affordable? What do most people end up doing? They self medicate. Either knowingly or unknowingly. They do drugs or they drink more (or in my case eat, eat, eat more) than they should. What other option do they have to escape these horrible, debilitating feeling of darkness?
I recently started seeing a counselor again. I have a good job and I have insurance. This is still expensive for me. I would rather not have to give out this additional money that I could use to pay off other debts. Seriously. What do others do that make less than me and have little or no insurance? I am sure there are programs. Let’s advertise them more and talk about them more if there are. Let’s advertise the hell out of it so when someone feels darkness creeping up they know exactly where to turn and how. Not knowing how or where to start is something that stops many. I know it has stopped me before.
Mental health is the real deal. It needs to be taken more seriously by society. Understood better. No more sweeping it under the rug expecting it to just go away. It is not a sign of weakness.
People handle it in many different ways. The biggest smiles often tend to hide the most hurt.