I've always been bothered by this, because it personally affected me. And, really, I was bothered in a selfish way.
But, with things happening they way they have...you can see the need for it.
I was always bothered when my friend's husbands, who were going into math or science, would receive huge scholarships, stipends, and grants. (Not that I don't want them to receive the help--I just wish it would extend beyond those fields.)
It appeared to me, although I'm sure my anger made it seem inflated, that they were handing out money like candy. My friends would buy laptops, and other lavish gifts for themselves with the "leftover" money after they had paid for tuition, etc.
However, my husband, who is majoring in social work, has never received one penny. Not one scholarship, stipend, or grant. Granted, school is not his strong suit, so perhaps there are scholarships out there since he isn't a straight A student...but I've never heard of one.
Am I saying that science or math is not helpful to our society? Am I saying that we don't need those things? Not at all. I love technology and the blessings that have come from people who are bright in those fields. But, do we need to be so focused on things that don't always address all of our needs? Where is our focus as a society? Making the next iPhone, or helping the members of our society?
There are so many mentally ill people out there. There are so many people who need help. And, when shootings take place, like it did this week...we shake our heads and say to ourselves "What can be done?"
Well, how about looking at our priorities? There is little incentive to go into social work and related fields because everyone knows the pay is crappy and the burn out is high. It takes a special person to want to deal with the undesirables of society.
I know our nation is in debt. And, I'm not saying a spending spree of scholarships and other federal aid may turn the tide. But, I do think that we need to be educating, encouraging, and helping programs to grow who deal with the increasing number of people suffering from mental illness. Because, unfortunately, the problems end up not only hurting the individual families--but it often times lashes out to others.
I am going to write my congressman, and hope you will too, to let them know that it needs to be a priority to help those with mental illnesses before we keep having these type of problems.
Is it that simple? No. Will it fix things completely? No. But I think it's a step in the right direction.
I would really encourage you to read this article. It's very eye-opening: I am Adam Lanza's Mother. I don't think there's much more I can add, than her haunting words.
I welcome your thoughts, as I realize that I could be looking at this from a personal angle whether you agree or not. Mental illness needs to be an issue that is discussed, even debated if necessary...as long as it is talked about so that something gets done. I suspect it will take some strong discussions until we as a society can decide the right thing to do. But, let's welcome those discussions.