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…
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.
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