It is time we do more to help mentally ill

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, June 21, 2017

There are many of us who are frustrated with members of congress but would never take aim at them with a gun.

When I heard about the incident involving the mass shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, I was saddened.

Not only did I see this as a heinous act of violence, but I also wondered what had happened for the gunman to make him stalk, hunt and try to kill these individuals.

Often times when we are hurting, mad or frustrated inside, we think about how we can retaliate to make ourselves feel better. Cognitively, though, we know we would never carry through with such an irrational act.

But those who suffer from a mental illness, or are experiencing a lapse in judgment, may need help to process their feelings.

However, because we are a country that seems to be too scared to own up to mental health issues, folks like the Wednesday’s gunman in Virginia may fall through the cracks.

Did you know there are numerous insurance policies that do not even cover mental health services?

Why?

According to the webmd.com, the brain is one of the largest and most complex organs in the human body and is the source of most qualities that make you who you are.

So I ask again, why would we not make it a priority to address and help those who struggle with mental health issues?

We pour millions of dollars into research for other diseases and illnesses. What makes mental health issues different?

Hello, mental health is our brains.

And for those who may think that having a strong religious code will ameliorate your troubles, it will not.

I, like many, depended on the power of prayer, but it alone cannot take the place of a trained counselor and or the right type of medication.

I know from experience that when you are going through a bought of depression or anxiety, mental health professionals are invaluable.

Hubby, who works in the counseling field, says he thinks the reason we have not taken mental health issues seriously enough is because many people have the misconceived notion that having a mental health disorder means that you are crazy and dangerous.

He says many people have treatable situations but receive no help because they think you have to accept that you are out of control if you seek help.  This is unfortunate.

This thinking is the farthest thing from the truth.

Mentalhealthamerica.net states that one in five adults have a mental health condition, which adds up to 40 million Americans. And on the newsweek.com, data compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, showed that approximately 9.3 million adults experience a “serious mental illness” — that is, their condition impedes day-to-day activities, such as going to work.

These numbers are staggering.

It is imperative that we work harder at providing resources for those who suffer, because not only could this provide relief to the person suffering, it could also possibly eliminate some of the senseless crimes.

Terri Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at terri.frazier@vicksburgpost.com.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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