Changing attitudes to mental health

Mental Health Awareness. October 7 to 12.
Last week, I checked out some book reviews on Amazon. And, just in time for Mental Health Awareness Week, found a short and pointed review headlined “Writers {sic} attempt to make excuses for her own mental health.”

The reviewer wrote only two sentences: I Did NOT like this book. This story drifts on and on about all kinds of mental health issues if the writer without an actual topic focus.

That was me she was talking about. Me and my excuses. Well, why am I not surprised? And I began to ponder one more time. What is it that blocks us from compassion? We can find the moon. Send rockets to Mars. Create some kind of ballistic missile that can  pinpoint and kill folks a budzillion miles away. But we draw the line at the human psyche. Finding solutions to bi-polar disorder? Schizophrenia? Depression? We simply can’t seem to do it. 

What is your attitude to mental illness? Is depression really just a pity party? Why not “Just think positively?” Couldn’t the depressed person just snap out of it is they really wanted to? What is the attitude to mental health by those in charge of funding programs for improving or actually healing mental illness?
When was the last time you spoke up to your local MLA about deep and significant changes to our attitudes to mental health.  How aware are you of the challenge of mental health to members in your community?

The Conversation. Mental Health Awareness week October 7 – 12. I am aware. There is no damn doubt that I remain aware. But I wonder just exactly how aware my friends, neighbors, the local politicians and the MLAs in this province really are? In fact, I wonder just how aware the aware people are? Before I got more blessed than I could possibly imagine, I too suffered from mental illness. Mental Illness.  We don’t have one sweet damn clue about the actual inner life of those who suffer the tortures of the damned with far worse mental illness than I can ever imagine. My world was once bleak, paralyzing and black enough. Now? It’s rich, deep and unbelievably wonderful now.

This week, I posted a link on Amazon to The Diary of a Madman: From Schizophrenia to Peace, written by a much younger friend about his life.
It’s a bleak, black, tortured story with a real life  ending.  Another author friend, this one with bi-polar disorder published Re-write Your Life. She copes. Most of the time.


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