Saturday, May 25, 2013

"We're gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into storage B."

The title of this entry is from the movie Office Space; if you didn't already know that shame on you!  One of the funniest movies.  Ever.  But what I want to write about is no laughing matter!

Every two weeks we make the drive to Children's Hospital in D.C to the Psychiatric Department where our daughter is seen by one the BEST doctors who specializes in children with Post Traumatic Eating Disorder and everything that goes along with that.   Everything ranging from anxiety, depression, fear, and feeding trauma.

Three years ago when we started this "new normal" with our daughter, psychiatry was on the 2nd floor and her specialist was in the basement.  In the course of remodeling and adding new wings to the hospital psychiatry has moved to the basement and her specialist has gone from the basement, to the 4th floor with a view of all of D.C, to the 3rd floor with a nice view, to the basement with no light.  When discussing these changes with the doctor she said, "There is no money for our department and money talks".  The Diabetes Department now has the 3rd floor with a nice view.

The year is 2013, mental health is still NOT a priority in this country.  I don't want Diabetes research and treatment to receive less funding, I want to see psychiatry receive equal funding as diabetes and all other physical illnesses.  Mental health does NOT belong in the basement; both literally and figuratively speaking.  For years and years people have been taught to ignore their mental health, to hide their depression, to pull themselves up by the boot straps, to move those problems to storage B, so to speak.

We talk about cancer, diabetes, MS, CF, CP, with an urgency in research, cures, funding, and shedding light on the problems.  When we break a bone we get a cast, the world sees we are broken and we even get those casts signed.  When our psyches break there is no visible cast, no one signs their regards, there is no light shed on the problem.  We store those problems until we run out of hiding space.

It is just as important to heal our mental health as it is to cast a broken bone.  Mental health can be, and is, a matter of life or death.  Diabetes and cancer are a matter of life or death so why is mental health still being sent to the basement!!   If anything we need to move mental health to the top floor, the penthouse with the full views, with all of the natural light one can shed on the problem.

Mental health needs funding!  Mental health needs awareness!  Mental health needs to be a priority!  Basements are for storage and hiding unwanted boxes of clutter.  Basements are NOT for mental health.

(I am not editing this post; it just poured out from my heart and my anger, I am not going to make it have rhyme or reason today)

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