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What might the mental health system look like: a community of support

Posted Oct 24 2010 3:35pm

What does a community look like that is supportive of those with mental health issues?  Some of the things that occur to me are:

  • Access to resources which offer effective treatment.
  • Resources to get adequate primary medical care.
  • Media which does not sensationalize mental health issues, or denigrate those who suffer with mental health issues as somehow being of less value.
  • Support groups, classes, other living groups which give access to the experience of others dealing with similiar issues and information about coping strategies.
  • Final say in decisions about their own life.
  • Access to a faith community which does not perceive their issues as an indication of lack or faith and welcomes them as a vital and wanted member of their community.
  • An educated work environment where they do not have to fear that anyone finding out about their issues or diagnosis will put them in personal danger.
  • An organized effort to deal with the issue of suicide and to make sure that no one dies because their needs have been unheard or their voice not listened to.
  • An effort to provide adequate mental health services to those in jails and an effort to make sure that mental illness not result in someone going to jail.
  • An effort to meet the mental health needs of the homeless in their community.
  • Access to and existence of opportunities for socialization and having fun.
  • A voice in the development of the mental health  system in their community.  They need a “voice in the room”.

I am sure there are many other variables that might be considered.  My question to you is three fold”

  1. What else needs to be considered?
  2. Is your community a community of support?
  3. What can be done to make it more of a community of support?

I look forward to hearing from you.

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