Mark Brown raises something that someone was just pointing out to me on Twitter earlier this week. Yes, it’s important that people who need help know that seeking help is not a sign of weakness. Erasing that stigma is an important part of dealing with mental health as a society.
But, once we’ve helped someone get through that stigma, we also need to make sure there is help available for them. For far too many people in the UK, US, and everywhere else, there isn’t any.
There are also no easy answers on how to make sure that help is available. We have a lack of financial resources, as Mark makes clear when talking about the situation in the UK, but we also have a shortage of skilled people to provide therapy, and other services, we have a lack of infrastructure in rural or poor, urban areas, a lack of psychologists who could prescribe medication as needed, a severe lack of emergency services, and a lack of education in law enforcement who, unfortunately, become the front line in dealing with those emergency cases with nowhere else to go.
All of these things need to change. It’s nice, and believe me, it’s important, for all of us to drop the stigma and do what we can to support the people around us dealing with mental health problems. But if they can’t get help in emergencies, we’re going to continue to lose far too many.
I’m tired of losing people.