We humans are funny creatures. Sometimes we do something wrong for so long, we believe it to be right. But is this always the case?Tweet
I am like many of you; once I saw the injustice that has embedded itself into the mental health-care system, I felt compelled to act. Over the course of advocating for myself, the battle was very disheartening. Why does everything have to be about money?
We hear this all the time, don’t we? “There’s no money. We had to cut our budget.” While on the surface, this seems true…is it, really? I mean, looking at anything just on its surface gives you only a first glance at an issue. At least, this is how I see it.
So, if we dig deeper, are we really broke as a nation? Or could it be true that the money is being spent hand-over-fist on other, more frivolous things?
Where does the money go?
How many times have you heard that government has bailed out yet another corporation, given themselves a raise, or “invested” it into something? Lots of times, right? This is a clear re-allocation of money and it happens all the time. I find myself asking, what is the human cost of this misspending?
Sure, it’s true that there is only so much money to go around, but with that said, the more important question here is, where is it going? How is the debt larger yet the “deep cuts needed” haven’t made a dent?
We do something wrong for so long.
An American battalion chief, a keynote speaker at a fire service conference I was attending, said: “Sometimes, as firefighters we do something wrong for so long, that we believe it to be right.” Since that day, his words have always echoed in my head. I think this statement is true not only of the fire service but of many other areas in society.The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.
Could this be true of our political systems? Let’s be honest – where the politicians put our money can make us shake our heads. For example, some local, provincial and federal governments will cut funding to emergency services. Unthinkable; instead, they spend it on flags, trail development or some other trivial project, a move that is the equivalent to you and I, neglecting our mortgage payment to pay for our recreational desires. This would be silly to most. As far as I’m concerned, government spending is one of these scenarios that the battalion chief spoke of.
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I think we can agree that there’s no denying that money, whether taxpayers or personal, needs to go to the essentials first. While a beautiful walking trail is very nice to have, its irresponsible to cut from essential services to have this added bonus in one’s community. When we think about it, it’s silly to keep up appearances when lives are put at risk and there’s a very real chance that some could die because of this decision.
The mental health picture.
So then, why are we being told there’s no money for mental-health care but the coffers seem to be full for the wealthy and their corporations? Well, in my view it’s because we’ve been doing it wrong for so long that we think it’s right. However, with a bit of critical thinking, we can easily see that our priority should be on the services that benefit the country as a whole.
Given that mental-health issues are on the rise because of Covid-19, we need more funding for mental health resources and professionals to help combat this rise. Now is not the time to spend money on things that may be pretty and nice, but don’t provide any long-lasting solution for society as a whole.
Hear people tell their story on Men Are Nuts Podcast
A good metric to use in my opinion is that of human suffering. For example, are people with mental-health conditions getting the help they need? The answer to this question is, some. But with that said, there are so many more going without… Honestly, our fiscal misdirection in our society is making us sicker and is not the golden goose egg we’ve been led to believe. How many people are dying because of it?
And it’s not just mental health, it’s health care in general, it’s a shortage of doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, forestry firefighters, food inspectors, police, psychologists, social workers, plow drivers, just to name a few. This is, of course, made worse by the lack of facilities and the tools to do their jobs. How much of a cost is there to the people? These are not mere “needs to save more” issues; they are real and legitimate health risks to the population. How many people have died because of this “fiscal responsibility?” Lots. Furthermore, what are the economic costs of putting the population at risk for a new stadium whilst neglecting the hospitals?
The cost of favouring a few over the majority is enormous. Yet it is business as usual? There is money to make the health of our nation the priority. We just need to put it where it belongs – on the people who invest the money in the form of taxes to have what they need. People first!
Check out the book I helped to write:
Lemonade Stand: Vol. III
Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military. In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness. So, if you are from the military or emergency services, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.
Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all who served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!
If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada
Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness