We all talk about it. We see the homeless out on the street and pass by without a second glance. We drive past the psychiatric hospitals. We watch the commercials on television for medications to talk to our doctors about. Have we become so desensitized that we have no idea that we work next to them? Our children play with them? Hell, we might as well be one?
Mental illness is one of the unspoken horrors that continues to threaten the very livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people each and every day. Do you ever hear a commercial about it? No, mental illness is the ugly, the dirty. It is the drunken, homeless man with no teeth that begs you for money outside of a liquor store. What we forget to think about are the children who are affected. The crack babies, the abused children, children with traumatic brain injuries, children who have committed no foul, done nothing wrong in their lives except live who are tortured every day with these sicknesses.
When I go to charities and scan the highest visited page, I see Haiti relief, cancer, and the Red Cross. While these are wonderful organizations and I applaud their efforts, I have to ask myself why are the mental illness organizations not out there educating and sharing the many wonderful stories of these children and adults who need help and who can be saved who aren’t because society is so self-absorbed that we forget about the dirty sicknesses?