Friday, February 19, 2010

Mental Health Ponderings

I was chatting with an old friend of mine today about the difficulties people face who have mental health issues and finding and receiving the help that they really need. Both of us have been in positions where we needed some very serious help, yet were continually told to "look here" or "call there" and it was exhausting. And we wondered why it is so hard to find mental health help when you really need it. And don't these people understand that we need "mental" health help, which means that if we are asking by this point we are likely not in a position to be able to call twenty different phone numbers to narrow down what we really need?

And we had a laugh over an analogy but it struck so close to home. If someone has a broken leg, you would not tell them to "walk over there and get a wheelchair," would you? But that's what it feels like is happening when we are in the throws of needing some serious help with mental illness. We say to a professional "I need help, I don't know what I'm going to do anymore…" and the professional tells us to call this person and that person and see if we can get an appointment somewhere and it's usually over a month wait. Why is it, that those of us with mental health issues, are expected to call upon our mental abilities, which we clearly are having trouble with, at times when we have seemingly nothing left? It's just something to think about.

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