Sure no one should be blamed for a mental health problem. It is my belief that everyone has a mental heath problem at one time or another. The problem is that no one can tell a person has a mental health issue. No one wears a sign! Thus, until there is a way to notice someone has a mental health issue, there is little that can be done.
This quote above was actually a comment from a reader on my article “Words Matter“, whom I will keep anonymous. Below are my views that I have chosen to write in an article rather than to display it down my feed/page since its lengthy.
I will just state my views here and hope not to offend anyone. We can’t place blame what someone doesn’t know however, everyone can make a conscience choice to stop stigmatizing others and throwing labels around whether it’s a “visible or invisible” health challenge.
Just like no one wants others talking trash about their mom/self/loved one, or referencing them by derogatory words/labels.
Just as no one knows when someone is about to go into cardiac arrest until you see the symptoms/signs of the underlying issues, but you see it’s much more common to be trained in CPR after such crisis.
In fact, when my youngest was discharged from the hospital it was mandatory for me to become trained in CPR. However, through my own experiences with both cardiac arrest, and mental health crisis there isn’t much talk about Mental Health First Aid training or suggesting it afterwards.
When my oldest was being discharged from inpatient, there wasn’t any suggestion of mental health first aid, nor was it mandatory. Instead it was just like sending me home with a bandaid that wasn’t sufficient to help aid the wound.
And I had no idea that it even existed until I began researching and taking self initiative to seek out more ways to educate myself so I can help others who are still uninformed in my same shoes. Plus become better equipped to educate and inform others who are untouched by mental health challenges. I’m not a expert, but I have the actual experience that most professionals only read about or hear during a 30 min session. I have the experience of my own journey.
Stigma is one of the causes why some individuals choose to live in isolation and silence. It is why kids often choose to hide it from their peers, teachers, and feel alone to fight in silence. Not to mention why some adults won’t speak out.
From a mother who has experienced this battle with my own children & others whom I have met in my community, I will have to somewhat disagree that little can be done. The problem is that kind of thinking, “that little can be done”, so therefore no one does anything or they just do little from the outside looking in. MORE can be done, but it’s little that is being done due to lack of funding and simply it’s not seen as a priority yet. Maybe it hasn’t impacted the “right person” yet, that person who has the power and authority to make change happen. That person who’s “untouched” and who’s views are opposite of my own.
In my own opinion, The “little” that could be done would be to change the way others view mental health disorders, and unless a person is impacted with mental health challenges they most likely won’t ever get the full effects it has on a person who suffers as well as the family/caregiver/parents. It’s kind of like this, if your son/daughter/loved one was sailing along through life and suddenly a life-altering event came in and changed his daily living, you would likely NOT want others going around defaming their character just because they have a different way of life now and a diagnosis that they didn’t expect, ask for, or want to happen to themselves, all the while they themselves are having to readjust to the issues set before them and have to fight off stigma, labels from the media, and cruelty and insensitive ignorant comments from “untouched” people.
Most of us in these situations have already grieved the loss of the person’s capabilities prior to the impact the illness or diagnosis has made in their life. There’s been some progress with Mental Health, but still A LOT of work to be done here but if everyone would begin to shift their thinking and mental health became a higher priority to those in the appropriate positions with regard to funding, laws, etc., than maybe just maybe……..
However, in spite of it all, in my journey, I have my faith & God to thank for sustaining me and my family during various trials and tribulations.
Thanks for the support, candid feedback and views. I have respect for others journeys because everyone’s path is different.
This is why I created this website, my purpose is to be the voice they don’t have, in otherwords, advocating for others who don’t feel they can be heard, or would rather have someone speak on their behalf. My passion is to help others who need help on both sides of the fence.
Blessings to everyone!