Mental Health, Everybody’s Issue?

“Some of the most comforting words in the universe are ‘me too.’ That moment when you find out that your struggle is also someone else’s struggle, that you’re not alone, and that others have been down the same road.” – Unknown

Over the past two weeks I have posted a variety of different YouTube videos. All were about mental health, mental health and all it’s aspects.

I never gave mental health a thought when I was young, it was just never an issue I had to confront. During 1983 my wife and I were on our honeymoon in Ontario. At the same time an aunt was in the hospital. She sent word to me and asked if I would visit. What happened next overwhelmed me. It was my first in your face moment concerning Schizophrenia. My aunt was diagnosed with the mental disorder. I admit I had no knowledge about the disorder, but over the next six years I was given an education about it, the hard way.

Then came my own crisis in my own mental health. I was burnt out, frustrated, and yes, depressed. Out of desperation and frustration I took an overdose of Amitriptyline. I am not quite sure exactly how I ended up in the hospital, but I was in the mental health ward. My memories of that time are very vague, however, one thing that has always stuck with me is a movie they showed us in group, the movie, “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray.

Mental health issues go beyond race, culture, faith, sexual orientation, gender, and even financial status. John Hopkins University writes this:

An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about 1 in 4 adults — suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.

Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. 

We have all heard stories about bystanders at the scene of an incident have the attitude, “it’s not my problem or concern”. When you live in any city and have walked around the downtown core, more than likely you will meet up with a homeless person. I lived in Toronto and at first I would help a person that would ask for some change. It soon became apparent to me that I could not keep doing this. Eventually, I would go downtown Toronto and the homeless became just background noise. I have now learned with much research that many of the homeless are suffering with some type of mental health disorder. They are in that situation mostly not of their own accord, but mental illness caused events, such as, non payment of rent, lack of access to medical care, or for some, war veterans.

The question arises, am I my brother’s keeper? My answer to this is, I just don’t know. I do however, have some understanding what it is like to suffer from mental health disorder. Therefore, I can show sympathy and lend a listening ear.

So dear reader, is mental health everybody’s issue? I and readers of this blog would like to hear your thoughts on this issue!

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