Monday, January 17, 2011

Why, Why, Why? Well...

This was my response to a post on a bipolar awareness blog regarding the Arizona shooter and the assertion that he was obviously mentally ill but nobody addressed his issues until it was too late.

Nonviolent mentally ill persons tend to fall through the cracks as well. The cost of getting mental health care in this country is prohibitive. Mental illness still tends to be seen as not a serious issue, even by health care professionals. The person who comes into the emergency room with a mental health crisis is often treated as if she or he is taking time away from the more seriously ill patients.  When people commit suicide, for instance, so many ask why, why, why, but there is often nowhere for a person to go get help. 
I know of a young man who cut his arms severely and was taken to the hospital. He was stitched up and sent off. He committed suicide a couple of years after this incident.
Also, with remarks such as "these cutters ought to save everyone the trouble and just finish the job" spoken by health care professionals, is it any wonder that people are reluctant to seek help?
Until mental illness is seen as the genuine health issue that it is and compassionate, affordable care is made available, we will continue to have such tragedies and people will continue to ask why, why, why?