I can only speak for myself. I can only speak on what I know, what I have seen and what I have experienced. My brother who is a brilliant man, has spent most of his life ill and struggling to be understood. The only time he has ever felt respected was when they were filming a movie about him. Everyone wanted to be his friend. That was nearly 10 years ago, so he is not so important anymore, so it seems. Yet there are those who were touched by and appreciated the film, the articles, and the book. So as a sister of a man with a mental illness, seeing him happy for a little while was so heartwarming, even though it didn’t turn out like it was pitched. Yes, Steve is still in his life and I am grateful and I can always call him to see how “things” are going. Other important people like his peers and people who can relate, because they have a story like his or like my family, GET IT. Even if we are not hearing from those people directly, we know that their experiences are still present. Not only a week in October, or one month out of the year, but everyday. Not just when something tragic happens. It is very sad how the lives of innocent people have been taken away at the hands of a gunman. I am so sorry that happened and its devastating. Of course, now there is talk about mental health, makes me wonder if “October 1st” had any significance in it. But I will move on toward something more real, like making an effort to make a difference in any small way I can. Small for me, HUGE for someone who needs the help.
Support a mental health organization near you, stop by and visit, maybe even volunteer. Their doors should be open.