*Stepping onto my pink, glittery soapbox*
It has been a week since 20 innocent children and 6 brave teachers were taken from their friends and families. Why is everyone still trying to blames this on Obama, gun control, the NRA and such? People who are bound and determined to commit acts of evil don’t pay attention to laws and policies.
The fact of the matter is no one wants to deal with mental illness. A teacher reports a student showing signs of potential mental illness and instead of going to a school psychologist (if the district can afford to have one) the issue is often brushed aside for fear of lawsuit or backlash from parents. As with many serious illnesses, the problem can start small and grow if left unaddressed.
Many people who are mentally ill do not realize it. Without the intervention of close friends, family members and medical professionals treatment can be impossible. It is nearly impossible to commit someone against their will for treatment without imminent danger to you or themselves.
Until 50 years ago mental illness was treated seriously, and aggressively, sometimes to a fault. I by no means wish to institutionalize all types of mental illness again but right now our only options seem to be waiting until there has been a jail worthy offense committed or trying to procure our own resources. Dealing with a child, young adult or even adult can be a difficult task for even the most highly trained professionals.
Many parents try their best to get the children the help they need but hit the walls of financial constraint and not knowing where to locate resources. I can not imagine being in the predicament of needing both parents to work to afford the best care but still needing the time to make sure the care is accessible. Many private insurance companies do not cover mental health services or cover them with high co-pays and deductibles.
I read a statistic that since Columbine the United States has had more school violence than the rest of the world combined! Why? Mental health care. In the last 3 years the US has lost 10% of its psychiatric inpatient beds to hospital closures and budgets cuts. The average stay for a mental health issue is 3-7 days. Considering medications can take up to 6 weeks for side effects and results to occur that is pretty scary.
Most mental health institutions were funded by states and with the help of government funding for healthcare.
Everyone is so eager to save on taxes that they overlook where the money is being cut from. In a perfect world we could vote for lower taxes and stipulate where we think the money should be cut from. I wish it worked that way but it doesn’t. We need to put the pressure on our law makers, insurance companies and spread the facts about mental illness to help solve the problem of violence in our society.