Mental Health Neglect and Violence…

We take our kids for physical vaccinations, dental exams, eye checkups. When do we think to take our son or daughter for a mental health checkup? Gordon Smith

Meditation: Yes, it is important to normalize mental illness, as it is a health condition that most American families today have experience with. Yes, we need to start with our children, to make sure we are as concerned about their emotional and mental health as we are about their physical health. However, often times both mental illness or violent behavior are being hidden, denied, and not talked about, while families remain often uneducated about their family member’s condition. Especially in rural areas, families often do not have access to mental health professionals. Even if they wanted to have their loved one evaluated, they do not have access, either geographically or financially, to get their family member the help s/he needs. And additionally our current government is dismantling access to health care even further. Today rural areas in the US will have even less health and mental health coverage than before. As we see suicidal and homicidal persons emerge after years of lack of mental health care, we witness the price we are paying for our collective neglect of providing adequate mental health care to families and individuals. Let us start seeking and demanding mental health care for our children. And let us demand easy access and insurance coverage for mental health care for adults, especially to prevent and cure suicidal or homicidal violence.

Prayer: God, open our minds so we seek mental health care for our children. Help us as adults to humble ourselves and seek healing for our own mental health conditions. Help families step out of hiding and seek such care openly. When destructive illnesses of the brain combined with gun violence rampage families and communities, let us demand nationally both the restriction of gun access and the broad based provision of mental health care. God, let our politicians join our lament and change the gun laws in this country. Let them fight to provide mental health care for all. We grieve and lament with the families who lost their loved ones once again to senseless gun violence. We lament the extreme neglect of mental illness care in this country. Amen

I am bent over and greatly bowed down; I go mourning all day long. Psalm 38:6