I'm not sure about you, (I am often known to be slow on the uptake), but listening to, not actually looking at, the evening News last night, the realisation sunk in that the rationale behind a young man going berserk in the city centre of Sydney, was all put down to his mental health issues.
The news story went on for quite some time, befitting such a tragic and traumatic event, however the dialogue throughout left me with the distinct impression that 'mental health' and 'bad guys' are inextricably linked.
No wonder their is such a dreadful stigma attached to mental health issues!
Is it any wonder that despite all the admirable intentions of leading mental health organisations such as Beyond Blue, Black Dog Institute, RUOK, Lifeline, even our very own GHFC, those effected by mental health issues are reluctant to speak up.
Sure, someone impacted by mental health issues is capable of such heinous acts.
Just as is someone impacted by drugs, alcohol, jealousy, greed, rage, anger, frustration, bias, disappointment.....the list goes on.
When violent episodes occur as a result of the 'triggers' above, then it is more frequently referred to as the perpetrator experiencing a 'momentary loss of self control', as opposed to succumbing to their current state of mental health!
As the inclusive society, that we like to see ourselves as, we surely must have a responsibility, in every walk of life, to disassociate mental health from bad things!
I don't have the answer. I do have my thoughts, as I'm sure we all do. However I, as no doubt we all do, feel neutered as to how this disassociation can occur!
I would love to see responsible media outlets taking the lead. To re-think their 'Breaking News' sensationalist syndrome. De-link mental health from being associated with 'bad things'. In other words, re-define their narrative!
As we all know, these same media outlets focus on sensationalism to generate revenue from their clients, the Retailers who advertise via their media.
Maybe these Retailers could set their own leadership example, by diverting their revenues to those media outlets that do take mental health issues seriously!
I appreciate this is 'pie-in-the-sky' stuff, especially as the GHFC prides itself on Realistic Optimism!
I would be delighted to be proved wrong on my 'pie-in-the-sky' sentiment, not for myself or the GHFC, but for all the innocent, 'guys and girls next door', who suffer in silence for fear of being labelled a 'bad person' simply because of a mental health condition...as experienced by millions!
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