11/14/17 – Mental Illness

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It’s time to change society’s attitudes.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

When someone gets an affliction like cancer, friends, family and co-workers reach-out. Neighbors prepare casserole dishes. Facebook pages and Go Fund Me accounts are set-up.

But there’s no similar response when that disease is mental illness.

It’s still a taboo subject.  Not discussed.  People pretend it doesn’t exist.

In the worst cases, someone with mental illness acts out violently.  We’ve witnessed tragedies at Sandy Hook; Aurora, Colorado; and Sutherland Springs.

The conflict arises when medical privacy rights limit what can be disclosed about someone’s mental state.

This may not be an easy problem to resolve.  Still, we should look for solutions.

One way may be to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness.  Take it out of the shadows.  Make it a topic that people feel comfortable discussing.

It was President Kennedy who took bold steps to dramatically curtail institutionalizing the mentally ill.  The goal was to mainstream people who were once locked-up.

Now, we must find ways to identify and treat those among us who may suffer from mental illness.

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