To start a more productive conversation about mental healthcare change we must talk about the root of societal ills: the economic growth model exposed in my Left of the Dial blog recently.
America–a capitalist society–has as its economic foundation the growth model.
Only the economic growth model is ravaging the earth, causing resource depletion, and human rights violations too.
This economic model has also created a prison employment sector that exploits “the justice-involved”: incarcerated individuals, their families, and communities.
It’s the “school-to-prison” complex that disproportionately has a greater effect on low-income communities and people traditionally called minorities. (I detest using the word minority to describe a person.)
I’m thinking now about how to create positive lasting changes. As I’ve not ever thought our government will ever be invested in catering to ordinary citizens instead of Citizens United corporations.
How then can we get positive mental healthcare change enacted? What can we do? Talking about injustices hasn’t corrected this imbalance of power.
Today peers are still criminalized, winding up in jail not treatment for crimes committed while symptomatic. While in jail there’s no medication given. That’s how a guy with SZ was able to self-amputate his tongue while locked up.
It’s no joke.
All of this is ultimately linked to the economic growth model. The prison industry actors make tons of money when people are jailed–and these corporations have the big bucks to lobby the government to do their bidding.
“Anything to make a buck” is the prevailing ethic of capitalist America.
Psych hospitals have been closing down for decades now. In New York City where 8 million people live there are only 112 psych beds available for those of us in crisis.
Insurance companies offer limited psych coverage–so psych hospitals won’t get rich treating patients. Even hospitals operate on an economic growth model!
What’s not right is that in America profits come before people. As long as profits come before serving humanity, no societal ills will ever be vanquished.
Those of us who have the big bucks and want to serve humanity should consider running for elected office. Those of us with the big bucks should consider opening up and operating a psych hospital.
Until this imbalance of power is reversed (I fear it won’t ever be) we have to continue to exert pressure on our elected officials.
Join your local Community Board, get active in mental health and other initiatives in your community.