Helping the mentally ill

Helping the mentally ill

We are all currently absorbed with the beautiful small children and brave women who died at the hands of a terribly sick young man. He is not the first to commit such a heinous crime.

Children were massacred in the Holocaust like flies, by madmen. Violence against children in Israel, Mumbai, Russia, have been unbearably frequent and tragic. We have witnessed too much insanity of those with distorted minds perpetrated by violence on those weaker. Guns have been the vehicle of power in most killings, but guns alone cannot shoot and aim. What causes such a human being to massacre those weaker?

The issue is mental illness, a problem that is not being treated comprehensively anywhere in the world. It is not a new illness. It is as old as time.

For the most part, we Jews as a people ignore it or hide it. It is seemingly too unwieldy to manage. The Jewish federation has no divisions to help the mentally ill. The Jewish agency is limited in what it can and will do to help. There are too many small divisions and no cohesive support systems.

I am the mother of a mentally ill young man. For years I have struggled to get help for him. He lives on the streets in another state, and simply refuses medication or cannot get it freely. He is not supervised when he is on these medications – and therein lies the issue. He is manic, on the street, on and off medications, with nowhere to live and an inability to work and no one to supervise or pay for his medications. I have spent years trying to find a way to help him.

There are times when he has been so out of control he has threatened to kill or hurt others.

No one cares. No one listens. No one wants to save this man/child. A young adult at 18 is not an adult. He is an old child. At that point all services stop. He is now in his thirties.

It didn’t matter if the shooter of the children in Newtown was bipolar, psychotic, autistic or just plain” insane.” He was very disturbed and apparently he was not helped.

Where are the words that should have been said by those in our government?

We need much more help for the mentally ill among us. We need comprehensive help and great amounts of money and minds to solve this problem. The jails are the only recourse for many, and the streets are where so many land, people like my son and the children of others, who simply cannot help themselves and whose families have no resources.

Let us look at this part of the issue. Let us finally get the mentally ill out of the closets that they are in, and that their parents are in when they are ashamed.

I am not.