Thursday, January 16, 2014

Just ranting

Sometimes I get so angry when I watch the news.  Just this morning another goes into a food market and opens fire.  Then a story about a man who gets upset in a movie theater and shoots and kills a young father.  These gun violence stories make me so upset because I know that people in this country have one agenda and that's "Don't mess with our guns".  I guess it doesn't matter how many people are killed because guns are in the hands of mentally unstable people.

As the sister and caregiver for a mentally ill person and my own personal experience with his ability to obtain a gun, it just makes me sick.  We make it easy to obtain weapons and cut funding for mental health.  Doesn't make sense.  

I have been wrapped up in the mental health system for the past four years.  The mental health system in this country has been completely the point that there is, for all practical purposes, nothing left.  Unless a mentally ill person has family members (with money) willing to pay for their care they won't get any services.  Let's face it, people with severe mental illness have trouble maintaining relationships or jobs.  They do not have access to care except through the system.  

About two years ago my brother's psychiatrist left the Potawatomi Nation health service.  I was desperately trying to find a psychiatrist to see him and was told by everyone I called that they do not see Medicare or Medicaid patients.  So where do you go?  We were fortunate because of being Native American we were able to find a doctor at another Indian Health Clinic.  

I work in healthcare and I am involved in mental health because of my brother.  I am beginning to think we are a nation that doesn't care about the welfare of others.  If you are sick no one cares that you must choose between going bankrupt or die.  No one cares that our jails and our prison system is full of people suffering from mental illness.  No one cares!  Out of sight, out of mind.  We no longer view strangers as our neighbors.  (My dad always told me a stranger is just a friend you haven't met so introduce yourself)

I think we are lacking compassion.  Somewhere in all the politics we lost compassion.  


Aunt Betsy said...

My daughter and
I suffer with a mental illness. We have a clinic where we receive treatment but if something were to happen to that clinic I don't know what we would do. In the past decade 3 of my children and I have been patients at a mental hospital. There was a drastic difference in treatment from my daughter's first time and her hospitalization last spring. When she asked about different things they used to do that had really helped her the staff told her they just no longer had funding for those things. Very sad.

Betty said...

You are absolutely right. There is no compassion any more. How are we going to change things? I don't know.

Olga said...

More people should be out raged by the state of our country's medical care and the access there to. It is a reason for national embarrassment.

Deb said...

We get an American PBS station out of Spokane and one their weekly health show the topic was mental illness. The panel was four psychiatrists and psychologists who admitted the mental health care system in the US is broken. The eldest said, "We used to have state hospitals which offered pastoral care for those who absolutely can't function in society. We had a farm, we had woodshops and auto shops, and a variety of other opportunities where people could engage in meaningful, productive work. They received medical care and mental health care. None went hungry, none slept on the streets, none were attempting to self-treat with dangerous street drugs and alcohol. But all that was deemed "inhumane" and a violation of their civil rights, so those places were closed and those patients were turfed to the streets to fend for themselves."

Callers described trying to cope with mentally ill children and siblings trying to get help for them, and having no place to turn.

It's absolutely appalling! When one in four persons will struggle with mental illness at some point in their lifetime that we still treat people this way.

It's an outrage, but how do you address it when Congress is so focused on making sure no one has access to *any* government programs except the very wealthy? It's not enough to make you weep reading and hearing these stories.

Hugs from Canada, for you, and your physical problems, and for the great burden you bear for Mike. You are a beautiful soul. May the wings of compassion bear you up and give you strength.

Deb said...

I reread my comment. I should put my glasses on when I write comments! That first sentence was supposed to read "and on their weekly health show" and later down, " It's *enough* to make you weep reading and hearing these stories."

As me old Maw would have said, "I've got Blindey's eyes today." (sigh)