Government agencies have severely cut mental health funding while advocating the Obamacare that hails health care to ensure every American may get their physical "ails" cured. In September of each year, there is an initiative to "take a loved one to the doctor." What kind of doctor? What else, a physician? Notice how closely the word "physician" is to the word "physical." The Greek root word for mentality or mind is "psych." What two types of doctors can you think of that begin with the syllable "psych?" No doubt you guessed psychologists and psychiatrists. It is no wonder that people are not breaking down the doors to "take their loved ones to the doctor" to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
Many people think talking about the deficiencies of their relatives' emotional and mental health is taboo.
Society in general has made notice of mental ailments when statements such as "his elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor." Other sayings such as "she has a screw loose;" "he's not dealing with a full deck of cards," and oh, how about this one, "nobody's home, out to lunch" are just a few. On a high sociological note, mental health is a very critical issue that needs to be dealt with. When discussing the homeless, the nomadic, and hitchhikers, the issue of mental health is constantly at the forefront. Schizophrenia prevails among millions of homeless individuals. Being without constant foods, covering, clean clothing and restroom facilities is a big enough "stressor" to make any once-emotionally healthy individual "crack" under the stress.
When I hear non-homeless people make the statement, "some people want to be homeless," I often wonder about the speaker's own mental health. Who in their "right" mind wants to be wondering the streets without his/her own comfortable place to go "potty" when nature is making its rounds? Who in their right mind wants to be on the streets without covering when old man, Jack Frost, hits 15 below zero?
Who in their right mind wants to be wandering outside trudging along in the snow during the brutal winter months? Who in their right mind wants to be held up to shame, dishonors, or scrutinized as buses and light rail trains are that individual's only safe haven from the cold or heat?
Former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, has come out with her fifth book, "Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis," but the second one dealing with mental health. In this book, the former first lady consistently points out that America's mental health crisis is not taken seriously. Our society is too busy, as Newton-John suggested, getting into the "physical." A personal friend in Denver, Kevin D. Vessels, and his associate Zee Zarbock, are making a documentary on the mental health crisis in America. If you are a mental health advocate or activist, and would like to help advance their documentarian efforts, you may contact either one of them on Facebook by their names.
In my opinion, the American Psychiatric Association has diagnosed some victims with unfair mental conditions such as battered women's syndrome and battered child syndrome. So far, no diagnostic labeling has been named for the perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.
By default, can you think that the APA is suggesting that those perpetrators do not have a mental health deficiency? To counter Newton-John's "Physical," what if our society catered to the mental?
Critical thinking is a mental exercise that all individuals should apply. So let's rewrite "Physical" by installing "Critical." "Let's get critical, critical, I wanna get critical, let's get into the critical, let me hear your neurons fire."
Johnson lives in Ogden. Come join the Men of Weber at the Amphitheater on Saturday, July 31, for Music/Dance in the Park with free food and drink recognizing mental health and homeless issues.