Mental Health Care – A Basic Human Right

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon
Mental Health Awareness Ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each day, we are bombarded by the media with stories about people doing things that are odd, strange, weird, bizarre, and what have you.  Pick an adjective.

Like the mother who killed her kids.

Like the father who …

Like the guy who went to the theatre and …

Like the drug addicts who …

So many stories.

What we don’t hear a lot of is how these people were able to get the help that they needed with their mental health issues.  Because, let’s face it, in the general realm of human behavior a lot of things that we see, read and hear about are beyond the scope of standard human behavior.

What we need to realize is that Mental Health care, is a basic Human Right.  Like it or not, we all know someone who is dealing with a mental health component to their lives.  Anxiety, depression, anger, elation, all can have a root in a mental health diagnosis.  Who decides what is “normal” human behavior?  Because in reality, aren’t all behaviors “normal” to some extent?

It is how we respond to how we feel that determines whether or not how we feel is an issue.

How do we go from reading about the “horror” of other peoples mental health crisis as their world crumbles around them, to being champions of mental health care and ensuring that those who need care, are receiving it in an affordable and appropriate way?  How do we go from seeing mental health as a stigmatizing thing to one of a part of life?  Because no one with a mental health event should be made to feel like they are less than human.

As we close out 2015, I challenge each of you to step up and help fight for appropriate mental health care for those who need it.  I look at my son David.  How would his life be different if his birth mom had received the care that she needed for her mental health and substance abuse issues?