Mental health awareness and the utter lack of it that we have in Canada and for the most part the United States of America is the main point in today's blog. You most likely have heard a lot about the Penn State incident on the news, where a staff member finally got caught for years of pedophilia targeting young boys in the showers. What saddened me more then the story itself, is the lack of exposure put on mental health and crimes against children in general. The media was so focused on the employment repercussions against coach Joe Paterno and the uproar from students, that the topic of mental awareness was totally sidelined once again.
Although many of you may not have noticed this, mental health awareness in our country is an often hush hush conversation that does not warrant much attention from the media, people in general and unfortunately our government. This denial is so bad that Canada specifically, a country that helped birth awareness for suicide and depression, actually lacks an official program/plan to combat it. To make matters worse, other countries who have used our initiative as a push for their own systems actually trump the mechanisms we currently employ when it comes to mental health and suicide awareness/prevention.
I cannot begin to understand why both our country and our media continue to deny the importance of mental health and the need for both treatment and awareness to help those who suffer from it. For to long, people have had to hide their conditions in fear of being cast out like a leper; left alone and denied the basic luxuries "normal people" take for granted.
The problem is so bad politically, that the only party to offer support for mental health initiatives ranked 3rd place in the federal election. That's right, the Liberal Party of Canada proposed measures in their election promises to provide more funding for both medical treatment and overall awareness and got trumped. Now, I don't believe that their proposition was what led to their demise, but it does seem like many people looked at this important proposition and disregarded its importance, which is a very serious problem. We have many citizens who suffer from various mental diseases, yet who lack the proper support to seek help and find remedies.
God forbid you toke up with some marijuana to stop the voices in your head or you might end up in the pen for 6 months! You dont believe me? Ask Mr. Harper how his new billion dollar crime bill will treat people who commit crimes not out of their own will, but due to a disease that is poorly treated. For to long we have put these individuals behind bars in hopes that they will either not survive their terms, end up on drugs in an institution or somehow through a miracle heal themselves!
I have used this photo before, but I felt it really applies to today's conversation as it reflects the current environment we live in when it comes to mental health.
The media much like our government is there to tell us about things that go on in our society. Whether these things involve new initiatives, dangers or overall positive progress to make us happy. The reality today however is far from where it should be, we have large corporations who own our media and have more power over our government then we do and this is where I believe the important issues get left out. When you have so many different groups with buying power lobbying for programs and bills that benefit their causes, you have a higher chance that important measures that can greatly impact our society in a positive way get left out since they cost money as opposed to make money.
It seems like our society has taken a much more passive stance when it comes to enacting change that can benefit us. I mean, don't get me wrong, we elect officials and call them politicians. We go so far as to pay these individuals with nice salaries and amazing benefit packages and our hiring practices are the toughest out there. Essentially, the Canadian people are the 1% when it come's to politics, we hire people if they pass our interview (The Election) and we compensate them for their work. It seems however, that as of late we have been to lenient on these individuals when they don't do their jobs. Not to mention, we make media corporations billionaires just by using our eyes and watching their programing.
Does the mental health issue or lack of coverage of it bother you in any way? Does someone in your inner circle or family suffer from a mental disorder?
Ask yourself this question next time you watch the news: Are the weakest links within our society receiving the proper support they require? If a society is judged by it's weakest links, how does ours fare?
I know these may seem like a lot of questions, but in order to know where we are going and which direction we are heading, we have to open our eyes and see where we stand and what bumps we have to overcome to take the direction we want to be in.
Next blog entry I want to focus on the lack of initiative our government provides to citizens in the topic of self employment and small to medium business creation. In a world that relies so heavily on cheaply made items in China, what happens to the rest of us who need to make a living?
Until next time!