Taking Responsibility for Mental Health in our Society

I have something to share from an article by the Administrator of Idaho’s Health and Welfare:

Please read at least part of this interesting article on Taking Responsibility for the Citizens of Idaho’s Mental health.  It really refers to ‘all’ of us in this country.  Ross Edmund’s has some wonderful points to make about hope and support for people with illnesses.  Instead of guns and detectors maybe we need a new attitude towards those that need help.

Quotes from the article which appeared in the Idaho Press, a Boise paper Dec 21, 2012.

“In media coverage of the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., I heard repeatedly, “Somebody has to do something.” As the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Administrator in charge of the state mental health system, and more importantly as the father of three young children who attend a public elementary school, I believe we all can do something.

Given effective care, a person with mental illness is no more likely to be violent than anybody else. Mental illness is a chronic disease, like diabetes and asthma. There is not a cure, but it can be treated and managed. I believe that hope can be as powerful as treatment. Hope that they will find help. Hope that someone will show them compassion. Hope that they can be a part of a community rather than just a spectator.

Any one of us can help create that hope. If we all take the responsibility to reach out to a neighbor, a friend, family member or co-worker we see struggling, we can be a part of the solution. Showing we care and asking, “Are you OK?” and teaching our children to do the same can have immeasurable impact. We can all watch for the warning signs.

Mental illness can cause a person to have disorganized thoughts and difficulty differentiating what is real from what isn’t. People with mental illness often struggle to find purpose in life and cannot see where they fit into their communities. A person with mental illness is much more likely to hurt themselves than someone else, which is also tragic.

The more we allow individuals with mental illness to live in the shadows, be ignored and go without treatment, the greater the chance they will view themselves as outsiders. Any person disregarded to a great extent can be unpredictable, whether they have mental illness or not. ”  Ross Edmunds is the administrator of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Division of Behavioral Health, which oversees mental health and substance use disorder services.

Excellent article Ross, and I had to share it!!  I challenge everyone to find one person over this holiday season, and convey hope to that person in some form.  Let’s all make a difference.  Feel free to post your comments, responses or what you did for somebody!!


About Bonnie

Breast Cancer survivor owned by one old Shelty and a 3 pound Yorkie named Mimzy!
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