by: Eric Kussin

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20 March 2018

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Systematic Mental Health Change Needed

With the events today at Great Mills HS in MD, & of course coming off the atrocity in Parkland, I felt compelled to change up our logo for a day to let all those suffering w/ sadness out there, whether directly or indirectly affected, know that we at the Alliance are w/ you.

 

There are so many things I could write on this topic: having parents who were career-long educators, & myself knowing personally how trauma can affect a body. But as I talk it over w/ other Alliance members & it’s apparent how much unresolved & compounded trauma is out there generally in our society, at all ages, we can’t help but wonder when we are going to see the changes that are needed to properly address Mental Health education & prevention, systematically.

 

So that I don’t leave out any important details – yes gun control should be a major part of these changes we are discussing. But we must address MH systematically & programmatically in schools, w/ caregivers, & in offices. We must also educate the masses that unlike what some in the media & office holders on both sides of the aisle might say, the people committing these crimes are not “sickos” or some other derogatory “literal” classification that makes it sound like they are born killers who are/were always “like this.” I make that statement not to absolve the perpetrators of any guilt. I make it bc we MUST have SUBSTANTIVE discussion abt how – what we are exposed to in life: traumas, mistreatments, bullying, loss – negatively affects our MH – yes to the pt where in severe cases, self-harm & the harm of others can become a reality.

 

Our kids sit through assemblies abt drugs, in schools every year. How about assemblies discussing WHY they might be turning to these substances…or how complications can arise? What abt teaching parents, students, & teachers what signs to look out for to know when people are affected beyond a certain point, where intervention is needed?

 

Lots of coverage recently abt public figures sharing MH battles. All the right direction. However if we want actual positive change, we need programs, in the trenches, making the change happen. Talking can only take us so far.

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