An opinion on Mental Health
Friday, December 14, 2012
DAILY BLOG: Mental Health
I’ve thought a lot about what I want to say and how I want to say it. The thing that prevents me is how people might react. Please understand that this is merely my opinion, and I don’t expect for a moment that anyone might agree with me. This is me putting thoughts into words on a blog.
I grieve for the innocence lost in Connecticut this morning. The children, the teachers and the families involved are in all of our thoughts. The nation mourns this tragedy. My children aren’t school age, but all I want to do is see them both and hug them.
What angers me is that the Illinois Governor and Chicago Mayor have blamed this tragedy on guns. It is as if there was a gun that went off by itself and did this heinous act. I disagree. On the shelf of any grocery store you will find: Alcohol, cigarettes, drain cleaner, rat poison. Those items do not kill people. A person chooses to consume or use this product to their or someone else’s detriment.
With that said. Our Federal, State and Local governments are looking at a fiscal cliff and the only “answer” is to raise taxes and cut programs. I am not talking about food stamps. I am talking about Mental Health programs.
In the past several years, the governments have closed inpatient mental facilities. Where do these people go? More than 50% are in our prison system. That is right, our prisoners are on medications for mental health. They are not classified as “insane.” You cannot be classified as “insane” unless there is no medication available to make you sane. Confused? So am I. It’s a place to put a group of people that we don’t want to deal with.
Insurance companies have upped the co-pays on all levels of out-patient therapy. Don’t even try to go if you are un-insured because the government has cut that program too.
Last the Pharmaceutical industry and insurance co-pays have raised the price of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. If you have high blood pressure, Wal-Mart will give you a 30 day supply of your maintenance medication for $4 whether you are insured or not. Co-pay on some ant-depressants are $50 a month, $180 without insurance. To me it would seem that an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication would be a maintenance medication. You take it to maintain your standard of mental function. Spend some time with a person who hasn’t taken their meds for a few days and you understand.
Have you noticed the rash of mass murders in this country as of late? Have you heard the interviews of people that knew the shooter? “He was so quiet,” “I had no idea he had a problem,” “He was a loner who didn’t have friends,” “My son has had problems all his life, we tried everything.” Not only do we cut the very programs that are needed, but the subject of mental health is so “hush hush.” Families literally bury mental health history, refuse to discuss it, pretend it’s not happening or shut out the family member who is crying out for help.
What is the end result? Connecticut, Colorado (twice), Virginia, Ohio……