Publisher’s Perspective: Bringing awareness to mental health
May 3, 2017
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Yes, every month seems to have some type of important cause that we should be aware of and/or care about, but I'm not sure there is one that is more important than mental health.
The term "mental health" covers a lot of ground. It can mean everything from addiction to depression to anxiety to mental illness — the list goes on and on. Yet, services across the nation are nowhere near where they need to be and the cost to maintain the services that are available is staggering.
The shortage of these services is not unique to the South Shore — it's a problem in most communities. There are some great services offered in the community, but the simple answer to the question of how many more services could we use related to mental health? More. Just more.
When I think about the time, effort and money that circle around gun control every time a shooting happens, I think about a lost opportunity. While instances of shootings are tragic, why does the conversation never veer down the road of mental health services? I would think in most cases, the shooter has some type of mental instability — why else would they perform such heinous acts?
Many people who suffer from mental illness go untreated. Many times it’s due to not knowing why they feel the way they do. Talk to the people you know and love. It may be the difference they need to get better.
Shouldn't we try to focus on getting people who suffer from mental health issues more help? I have no idea if that would prevent (or at least help prevent) these types of acts, but in my opinion it would make more sense to focus efforts here than gun control.
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But I don't want to make this a column about gun control. I'm only using this as an example. We make it about gun control because there's no money in mental health services. We'd be beating a dead horse, which is a sad reality.
So how do we help fight a fight that seemingly is an uphill battle? Plenty. Awareness, advocacy, support, volunteer — there are many. Help spread the word about the services that are offered.
Many people who suffer from mental illness go untreated. Many times it's due to not knowing why they feel the way they do. Talk to the people you know and love. It may be the difference they need to get better.
You may have noticed the Tribune logo in green. For the month of May we'll be keeping the logo this color in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. Please join us in bringing awareness and maybe together we can help. While we'd love to help many, if we were to help just one, it would be a step forward — and all journeys start there.
Publisher Rob Galloway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-542-8046.
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