Anyone brave enough to say mental illness doesn’t effect everyone now?
There’s no question that the alleged gunman who killed 12 and injured 58 more was severely, very mentally ill. Stockpiling weapons, ammunition and the creation of a circus-like madhouse of booby traps and incendiary devices isn’t “crazy,” it’s mentally ill. The question now is what are we going to do to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.
One of the less-reported provisions in the often-hammered Affordable Care Act is that in addition to access to health insurance, everyone needs to have access to affordable mental health care. If anyone disagrees now with the importance of mental health care, and that it should be accessible to everyone all the time, you’re one of the few now.
That’s because we all can see now the hurt, shock and horror that one very sick individual can impose on a town of more than 300,000 people. Denying the right to affordable mental health care doesn’t cut it anymore, and ensuring that people vaccinate themselves against deadly infectious diseases should be mentioned in the same breath as ensuring that people have a professional to talk to when they’re feeling depressed. Both diseases have very severe consequences for the rest of us now.
Similarly, dismissing the shyness and social discomfort of a few people we talk to everyday won’t do. We all know why it’s important to speak up now. Hundreds of people have had their lives changed forever because too many people perhaps dismissed the actions of a single person as just being “weird.”
We owe it now to each other to talk about mental illness and depression. Depression happens to everyone. Some illnesses, such as schizophrenia, don’t manifest themselves until our early 20s. Others strike much later in life. We need to make sure that anyone who needs help can walk into any hospital in the U.S. and ask for mental care as if their arm was broken.
It’s sad to think that so many Aurora families now are missing pieces because of one very mentally ill man. Demystifying mental illness and removing the social taboo from talking about it may go a long way in helping families in the future.
Its tough enough showing how accessible health care to all people is important for society as a whole, but we should all clearly see now how mental health care is just as important.
And everyone should have it.
Reach Managing Editor Aaron Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-750-7555.