My Response to Oregon

By October 4, 2015Uncategorized

How does one respond to such an act of wanton cruelty and disregard for human life?

With tears, in my case.  All of those people killed, the children, parents, and grandparents, how do their relatives go on after this sort of thing? My son was killed in an accident and there are days I cannot leave my bed four and a half years later.

This was a hate crime.  It was a persecution of Christians.  The murderer (whose name I refuse to mention) actually asked people what religion they were before he shot them, execution style.  What the hell?

Is someone going to tell me that this guy was not mentally ill?

What are we, as healthcare providers going to do about this?

I think we need to focus on the fact that mental health care is almost completely unattainable for the poor and uninsured in this country.  When we deinstitutionalized mental health care, we accomplished a few things:

  • We shut down some awful institutions with terrible practices that were abusive to patients.
  • We shut down some good institutions. They were expensive.
  • We decided that outpatient care was ‘ideal’ for the chronically, debilitated mentally ill.
  • We sent tens of thousands of chronically mentally ill patients out onto the street with ZERO support system.

I don’t think they asked any nurses about this one.  Correct me if I am wrong.

Some people will never, ever, ever be able to take care of themselves.  Part of mental illness is that when you feel better, you stop taking your medications. Naturally, you relapse almost immediately.  Then we have actively psychotic people roaming the streets of the world.  Some people never get help at all, because they are poor and mental health issues are a stigma.

These people are sick.  Just as if they had COPD or Diabetes. 

Do I know that this shooter was ill? No. I do know that the last few were (won’t mention their names either), and so were many others in the last couple of decades.

This is Nathaniel.  He is a member of ShowMeYourStethoscope. #smysofficial.  His quote from the page is right below his picture.  I want to protect people like Nathaniel.  And me.  And you.  And our kids.  And other people’s kids.  Andandand…

I'm in the School of Nursing at Umpqua Community College. I, along with countless others felt deeply hurt by what this demon did at our beloved and peaceful sanctuary. Nevertheless we are strong, and the gravity of what happened yesterday at my nursing school motivated me to post this picture to remind all the villains in the world that even though we choose peace first, UMPQUA IS STRONG, here's my stethoscope.

I’m in the School of Nursing at Umpqua Community College. I, along with countless others felt deeply hurt by what this demon did at our beloved and peaceful sanctuary. Nevertheless we are strong, and the gravity of what happened yesterday at my nursing school motivated me to post this picture to remind all the villains in the world that even though we choose peace first, UMPQUA IS STRONG, here’s my stethoscope.

Can we come together for mental health reform? 

We need beds in inpatient and LONG TERM inpatient facilities.  These facilities have to be built.  They have to be staffed.  We need to talk to our state and federal representatives.  Every time I see an obviously psychotic homeless person, my heart breaks.  We are NOT doing what is right for our patients.  They are ALL our patients, as a community of healthcare providers.

My question is, if I set up a platform for you to notify your representatives, will you use it? Will you advocate for the mentally ill or is it too much trouble to click a few buttons? Let me know.  Comment.  Engage with your fellow healthcare providers.  Help us make a difference.

Love,

Janie

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Author Janie Garner

More posts by Janie Garner

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Cathy Marrone says:

    Yes! We need some forms of help for them but society today won’t let one be restrained for their protection or others’ . I think institutions like long term care/nursing home facilities would be good for everyone. They would get healthcare, social/life care, and everyone would be safer. They wouldn’t end up in jails like now just to be released with no help of any kind. Thank you.

  • Aimee says:

    Perfectly put Jamie ! Thank you for all you have done.

  • Cari says:

    Shared. I’d be happy to help advocate and engage. I think SMYS is a pretty powerful forum that could do some good.

  • Sara says:

    We need to do better for the mentally ill in this country!!

  • Anne Miller says:

    I think we need better education about mental illness (what are the signs and symptoms) and better healthcare for the mentally ill. I also believe there needs to be a screening process (like eye exams and dental check ups) that is done early in life to detect such illnesses. I grew up in a household full of mental illness. My Mother and brother continue to be undiagnosed and untreated. It’s sad and very scary.

  • Gina Brozenic says:

    janie, LOVE this. I’m on board 100%.

  • Pam Wright says:

    I would love to participate and be involved in any platform to improve our care and viewpoint on mental illness. I hear so much negativity regarding mental illness or the usual “let’s just sweep it under the rug” mentality. I have a particular interest in veterans and PTSD; especially with the ALARMING rate of suicide here on US soil. Everyone was up in arms about the military members who were shot in the recruiting station and demanding the flag to be flown at half mast, but don’t blink an eye when we lose a veteran a day to suicide. So yes, I’m with you and I want to do more than just talk about it. Let’s DO something about it

  • Susan Strange Romanini says:

    I think we can all agree that Mental Illness touches our lives in so many ways, at work, at home and in our communities…. If any group can make a difference, we can!

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