My hope is that last week’s horrific murders in Seattle by a mentally disturbed man will bring help for family and friends of mentally ill people as well as those with the illness. It is time for society to wake up and stop ignoring our mentally ill.
Up until a few years ago I was one of the majority in society that avoided people with mental issues. A couple of years ago we became involved with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). This organization is not a big corporation; it is run by volunteer family members with loved ones who have mental issues. We attended free family-to-family classes and these opened our eyes.
If you have any family or friends with mental illness, or know of anyone who has a friend or family member with mental issues, please have them contact NAMI; there is help out there. Don’t feel alone. Contact www.namiwa.org.
We as a society need to stop the stigma surrounding mental illness so that people will seek treatment. There is treatment out there that actually will help. Mental illness is not going away, and ignoring it does not help. People need to get INVOLVED concerning mental illness. People should also write their elected officials about mental health funding.
Let’s start treating mental illness like it’s an emergency, just like any other life-threatening illness. Let’s start to be part of the solution to reduce its effects on society.