Things in our country are strained, and the violence around us is increasing. It’s no longer safe to go to the mall, to a concert, or to school. In my hometown, a realtor was killed by a man who didn’t think that the offer that the realtor secured for his house was fair, so the man killed the realtor, in the realty office. We live in a country with opportunity, with things that our grandparents couldn’t dream of having. What’s happening to us?
The state of mental health services in this country continue to be strained, but there also remains a significant stigma around mental health issues. Veterans coming home from war are weary of mental health services while they are active duty because it affects their ability to maintain their security clearance. The increasing stress in the country around racial issues, financial problems, and so many other things create a hopelessness that needs to be addressed. That hopelessness leads to depression, anxiety, and a lack of vision to overcome and rise above the emptiness.
I have talked with so many people over the years that feel they can’t overcome the situation in which they find themselves. In the more recent years, that hopelessness seems to be getting worse. More people with depression and anxiety are needing support. Just watching the news these days is scary. After the senseless violence in Las Vegas today, that may increase again.
It occurs to me that Americans are still recovering from 9/11. Even thought it happened so many years ago, we continue to struggle with the realization that we are not as safe in our country as we used to be. I struggle at times to go out, and I am afraid for my children at school. So many things around this country seem to have us moving in the wrong direction. Although I think working on some kind of gun control isn’t a bad idea, I know that it won’t stop events like what happened today.
Instead, I believe that we all have an obligation to help make our country safe again. We have to pay attention to our fellow Americans, and our neighbors. We should be helping each other. We need to take the stigma our of getting help and support. We need to change our ideas about mental health issues, getting support, and admitting when we need help. We need more support for older Americans, who are currently a managing financial crisis as they are not able to survive on social security. Our children are growing up in a more violent world, but I’m hoping that they won’t have to be more afraid. With the internet, and news from around the world available in real time, they are faced with so many more realities that my generation, or my parents generation.
Much needs to be done in our country to try to make things better, from mental health service to finding ways to manage what the nation is feeling. No more pointing fingers, or passing blame. Let’s stand up and take responsibility for what is not working and talk about a solution. I would like to leave my children a better world, where they don’t have to be afraid to go the mall. I would like to live in a better world, and feel safe again.