Mental health crisis.

Mental health crisis: While it’s important to invest in the mental health care system itself, there are many things that can be done… Find out what, and how.

Jonathan Arenburg
Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan is a mental health blogger, published author, and speaker. He has appeared in numerous newspapers and has been a guest on many podcasts.

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Out of the multitude of things I would like to see improve after the pandemic, is mental health.  And even though I’m a mental-health advocate, it’s worth mentioning that there are many things that need to be fixed. For example, the overall health-care system, not only in my own country, but globally. over the last two years: governments all over the world should have learned that a robust, publicly-funded health-care system will save lives.

With that said, there are the obvious things that need improvement. For instance, hiring more medical and mental health professionals will definitely help. However, there are so many things that we can do in our societies to help minimize the impact of the mental-health crisis.

Read chapter one and two of The Road To Mental Wellness Sneak Peek -The Road To Mental Wellness

And personally, I believe we have come to a juncture in our lives where we must think outside the box. Firstly, we have to acknowledge that sometimes, investment is needed over fiscal responsibility. In order to ensure long-term prosperity, you have to invest in people. In my view, heavy investment in health and mental-health care are areas where investment should always be a priority.

For one reason or another, though, budget cuts have been seen as the answer to an ever-growing national debt. This has been a trend in many places around the world. However, we are now seeing the weaknesses within a “fiscally responsible plan.” While I’m not advocating for spending money like it’s going out of style, I am. however, advocating, that we don’t hoard it like it’s the last dollars we have. I mean, every now and again you’ll hear a politician in Canada anyway, refer to us as living in a “wealthy nation.”

In crisis? Got to Crisis Services Canada

Similarly, it’s not unusual to hear the same politician tell the Canadian people that there is no money. My response to this paradoxical approach is, “Well, which is it, then? We’re either broke or we are wealthy. Furthermore, if we are wealthy, why is it necessary to make budget cuts?”

I suspect, as I’m sure many of you do, that there are other things going on here. But I digress.

Since Canada is a wealthy nation, a claim that can be backed up by many different economic sources, we as a country have no excuses for such things as budget cuts. What I suspect is the real problem here is wealth distribution. Or to be more specific, economic inequality. One potential solution is to redivert the ungodly amount of money given to the corporate world.

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Now, with all that out of the way, let’s discuss what other things need to be done to improve mental-health outcomes for a nation.

1. Government regulation. While not a popular option for those on Bay St, Wall Street or any other kind of market, regulation is in fact a necessity for the rest of us. Why? Well, let’s use the housing market in Canada as an example. So, during the pandemic, the housing market was booming. Not only was it booming, but it was also on its way up the entire time – prices took off.

One of the major things that contributed to the skyrocketing housing prices was those who had the money. These who had it, put thousands of dollars down over asking prices. Now, anyone with two cents and compassion for their fellow countrymen, knows how devastating this is.

Essentially, if anyone with the right amount of cash can walk in and demand a price for a house, this leaves many more human beings out in the cold. However, if our government would have stepped in and regulated the market, more people would benefit. So, for example, government should put a cap on the selling price of real-estate.  

Header – What will this accomplish?

Firstly, it’s well known that poverty contributes to mental illness amongst that population. I believe this is so because if you don’t feel safe and secure, you have no other alternative but to live in a world in a defensive posture (fight or flight). Our fight or flight response, when constantly active, can cause anxiety disorders.

Therefore, it stands to reason that if you make housing inaccessible to people with less money, you exacerbate the mental health crisis.

What’s worse, is that by allowing people to throw as much money as they want at a house, you make the lower class larger.

As disparity grows, so too will mental-health conditions.

2. While this entire planet depends on a growing economy, business owners aren’t great at recognizing the value of their employees. In other words, those who bust their ass to ensure we have the things we need, get screwed.

Sadly however, those who worked to not be able to afford the house that the rich paid way too much money for, get scraps in terms of money.

What’s worse, instead of affording them the right to live on this planet, the business owners ensure that most of the money flows upwards and into their pockets. A phenomenon I like to call “vacuum up economics”.

Companies hire people with dark trait personalities for CEOs – on purpose

For reasons I find hard to understand, anything can be justified as long as one is making huge money. The problem is that when one makes huge money, those who make it for them suffer. most disturbingly, in the CEO’s quest to squeeze every penny out of their employees. While at the same time, demanding more and more out of them.

How do they do this? Well, one of the most popular ways is busting unions. Whatever you think of unions, the data supports their overall effectiveness in helping the common folk. (Higher wages and benefits).

Furthermore, as if dismantling unions weren’t enough, companies will hire part-time employees and work them just under the hours needed to collect benefits. And of course, fewer hours mean – behind on bills. Overtime? Nope, in many cases, part-timers aren’t eligible.

Personally, what I find more deplorable is the cold-hearted remedy offered up. Not making enough to live on? (Like it’s the workers fault). “Just get another job!”  Today, we have become so conditioned to believe that every economic shortcoming in our lives is our faults.

 While this, I would argue, is partially true in some cases, it’s not in many others. I mean, is it your fault that your employer pays you peanuts and gives you a minimal number of hours? It’s no wonder you can’t afford to compete in a wild-west housing market. Additionally, what needs to be asked is: “What impact has the modern economic model had on my mental wellbeing.”

The mental health costs

Finally, what does all this disparity do to our mental health? Moreover, what is the overall cost of purposely keeping people poor? Well, in my view, the answer is quite simple. And again, it all goes back to economic insecurity. While intentionally keeping people poor should be seen as a violation of human rights, it’s not – and until it is, more people will end up being homeless; more people will be fighting to heat or eat; and mental health conditions will skyrocket.

From where I stand, the great equalizers here are the following:

1. Accountability on the wealthy – paying their fair share in taxes.

2. Abolish minimum wage and keep them in line with inflation.

3. Cap housing prices and rent so it keeps more people with a roof over their heads.

4. In better economic times, reduce food prices to an affordable level.

5. Outlaw the use of debt as an income for banks.

6. Pass legislation that makes it illegal to hire people for under the hours it takes to make a living.

7. Intact legislation that is in line with the science of human connection, recoup time, effects of malnutrition, and so on.

Front and back cover of the road to mental wellness the book - Anchor Points -My goal is to be happy
Take a trip down my mental wellness road and find yourself as you learn to overcome your own life-long battle with mental illness. – Expectation

“Feeling safe and economically secure does wonders for mental health and saves tons of money in #mentalhealthcare.”

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The real question here is: “How can people not be more susceptible to depression – if, for example, no matter how hard they work or how much they dream, it only ends with them living on the street?”

We can improve mental-health outcomes by leveling the playing field and by valuing human life. Let’s work hard to abolish human suffering by petitioning governments to make lives better for everyone.

What do you think can be done to help improve the mental wellbeing of suffers? Let us know on our Facebook page – The Road To Mental Wellness

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Categories: Mental Health, Mental health advocate, Mental health care system, Opinion piece, Public mental health, Road To Mental Wellness-the book

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