I have so many questions and segregation better not be the answer to any of them.
Bear with me with this one. It’s a strung together collection of thoughts, questions and me grasping at straws cos I have no clue if this feeling I have is stupid or if it’s real and we should be worried. Mental health effects us all black, white, Puerto Rican, Chinese, men, women, children, gay, straight. No one is different in its eyes it simply can’t see race, religion, gender or sexual preference.
Minority races fight to be treated equal
Women fight to be treated equal
LGBTQIA fight to be treated equal
The mentally ill we all want to be treated equal to
So, why the current almost unnoticed segregation of gender, race and sexual preference in mental health awareness. I’m certain that this is unintentional but it Seems to be happening.
I’ve seen LGBTIA groups fight to be equal my entire life but now I have seen media campaigns that prioritise their mental health issues as worse then a straight persons. Sorry but we are all the same when it comes to mental illness.
Men’s mental health in Australia is in a bad way, but what happens while everyone is focusing on men? Do the women in our society get brushed aside? Do we end up with a reversal of the suicide statistics because men’s mental health has seemingly been prioritised over women? I for one do not want the women in my life feeling like they have to promote men’s mental health so much to the men around them that they forget about themselves. I don’t want the women I love and cherish to be left behind in the pursuit of men’s mental health. Sorry men’s mental health is not more important then women’s. We are all the same when it comes to mental illness.
And youth mental health this is super important I agree and teaching our young ones how to manage life and give them the tools to cope with what’s thrown at them is a must, but when funding for mental health services for people over 25 has started to dry up because all the money is being funneled into youth mental heath. Where does that leave the thousands and thousands of people over 25 to go to when there is no funding there? And why if all the funding is going into youth mental health are mental health organisations turning away kids in need?
When it comes to our mental health we are all the same it doesn’t discriminate one little bit. We may have difference experiences or situations that have caused us to have these issues but we most certainly ALL have the issues. Being 22 or 78 shouldn’t make a difference, being indigenous or white Australian shouldn’t make a difference and why the fuck can’t we just be Australians, being male or female shouldn’t make a difference.
We all have challenging things we go through in life, being a black gay man who’s been estranged from his daughter for 14 years because her mother didn’t like the fact you had the guts to be openly gay, has been through hell and back, as well as suffers with mental health issues is pretty tough, but so is being a Caucasian male who went to hell and back, who struggles with being bipolar and is living with a suicidal mind.
Those two examples that’s me and one of my closest friends. We don’t look at each other as a black gay man and a straight white man we don’t compare problems either. We just look at each other as people with problems and we support each other the best possible ways we can. And it works well. We are brothers from different mothers we have different circumstances but the same pain. We are the same.
I think my point is that we need to start looking at each other as humans instead of a class or race or a sexual preference. We need to start bringing some humanity back to the way we treat mental health and more to the point each other.
I often wonder, and those of you reading that understand mental illness should really understand where I’m coming from here. I often wonder when watching a men’s mental health add on tv what the women in our society who are struggling think…..Do they feel forgotten? Do they feel like there’s no one there to help them if they ask because they are being bombarded with mental health ad’s for men, and that’s the services that are there so what’s the point in asking because there’s nothing for me? but I’ll make sure I tell hubby about the ad and make sure he is ok……as men, the women in our lives give us so much and now we are taking them for granted and their mental health is being forgotten.
I’m guilty of this. Maybe this blog is my shame and guilt for taking the women in my life for granted……
Those of us who are mentally ill are all the same, slightly different diagnoses but we all struggle just the same. The same treatments and therapy’s are used to help us. So why are the media campaigns splitting us up. Segregating awareness. Instead of men’s mental health why can’t it be all mental health awareness.
Like I said this blog may not flow the way they normally do but it’s different, the most part of it’s been my thoughts that have gone through my mind over and over for a few weeks now some a little badly strung together maybe to get them out, maybe to see if anyone else agrees with me.
I don’t have the answers, just an unsettled feeling that if we don’t look at people as people then some of us are going to be left behind.
I hope what I’ve said hasn’t been taken the wrong way by anyone. I believe to battle the beast we need to be united. As people.
We need our humanity back…..let’s all just look out for everyone around us.
Let’s hit mental health head on together for humanities sake.
Ben Russoniello | ©benrussoniello 2019