Mental Health Ads Miss Real Problem

We’ve all been deluged by ads in recent months from various mental health advocacy groups encouraging everyone to recognize mental health as an issue that can affect everyone; that no one should be afraid to talk about it, yada yada yada.

While that all is very true, I wonder if we aren’t missing the point, that is, the REAL problem facing our society concerning mental health.

Today, the Old Ruminator had occasion to make a sojourn into the heart of Vancouver. On two occasions, while trying to navigate the nightmare that is described as traffic, I had to deal to an obviously very troubled individual suffering from some sort of psychosis. The first fellow insisted on not finishing his crossing at a crosswalk. He may have been drunk but my impression is he was suffering from some sort of hallucinogenic or mental illness. Within 20 blocks I encountered my second “patient” who insisted on standing in the middle of the curb lane, refusing to move. I was unfortunate enough to find myself bumper to kneecap with the poor soul after the bus in front of me lurched into the middle lane. There he stood, cursing at me and thrusting his middle finger at me. I gave him a little “beep” and, in my best imitation of a Sister of Mercy, gave the look of “please, sir, would you kindly let me pass?” , at which he mouthed “F….. you” and made a Dirty Harry shooting motion with his right hand. I eventually managed to navigate my way around him, with virtually hundreds of hard working tax paying, contributing members of society jammed in traffic behind me, trying to make their way home after a hard days work.

These poor, unfortunate souls really shouldn’t be in the middle of city traffic, raging against life. They should be in an institution, medicated and comforted. But why are mental health advocacy groups completely ignoring this crisis? Is it because they fear they will not be able to navigate their cause through the idiots described as our Supreme Court Justices? I suspect so.

It’s much easier to broadcast messages that all of us are just a single, unfortunate turn of events away from some sort of mental catastrophe. I’m not sure what good that does for society or for the poor individuals who have encountered such maladies, but maybe it makes the advocacy groups feel they are doing something worthwhile.

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