I have been digesting the news out of Newtown, Connecticut. It has me thinking of mental health care here in the States.
I have thought about my mental health struggles and how hard it was to find providers who cared. When I would tell various doctors and/or therapists about how I hated myself and how I wished I would just die. How no one really took me seriously. Over time, I flitted from one therapist to another and withheld what was really going on in my head, until I started to write and really become self aware.
I have heard stories about people waiting in local emergency rooms for hours and hours before being seen. A coworker’s son spent 18 hours in the emergency room only to be told THERE WERE NO BEDS available and was transfer to another hospital, where he sat for 6 hours. He was a schizophrenic young man of 24.
This would totally deter me from getting in-patient mental health care. I would totally avoid it.
This has to stop.
As a country, we need to change our priorities about mental health care. While the old institutions of the past were horrible, when they closed, there was nothing to replace them. I do not have the answers on what should be done but we need to talk about it.
It can not be swept under the carpet. The more people who talk about the need for change, the better.