Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Hidden in the Dark

June 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Health

The high cost we pay for the stigma on mental illness

BY BRUCE EDDINS

BRUCE EDDINS

“Lord, why did my child have to die? Help me, please!”

The breaking news segment woke me in the middle of the night: another mother with a child lost to gun violence. This carnage has become our new normal — each massacre taking another safe haven off the list: You can’t go to church to pray; you can’t go to school to learn; you can’t enjoy a night out at a restaurant or a concert without the possibility of gun violence.

The truth is that these sorts of crimes have ravaged communities for years under the label of gang violence. But under the guise of the Second Amendment — and willfully ignoring an epidemic of untreated mental illness — America gives just about anyone an opportunity to purchase guns. The result: an extraordinary (and growing) number of people unleashing hidden rage with easily-accessible firearms.

These tragedies have opened new conversations about how society often turns its back on people who suffer from mental illness. They have also helped us better recognize that many people need assistance that goes beyond prayer.

Don’t misunderstand; prayer is all-healing, but it also requires action. Mental health can be a taboo topic among African-Americans, but the labels and stigmas only limit accessibility to healthcare choices. Those self-inflicted wounds only serve to further marginalize an already underserved community.

We all have had our share of life stressors that can been overwhelming. And due to our life challenges, many people have created roadblocks that trivialize their existence, stunt personal growth, and limit the ability to have positive relationships.

It is time for us, as a people, to take control and create new opportunities to live our best lives. You can become the navigator of your own existence by breaking free of challenges that have kept you chained and shackled from true freedom.

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