It is easy for some to ignore another`s pain. It is easier to pretend that another human is doing well when they are in mental pain. People do not see what they choose not to perceive. It suits some people to purposely concentrate on anything other than another person`s mental pain and ignore them. We can see the sad situation where a person needs help and help is refused, then we are talking about neglect.
A human being, because of the fact that they are human and are precious, should never be neglected or refused assistance if it is possible to offer the person help. There are some relationships where it can even be dangerous to give a person and these cases can be excused because it is important to look after yourself too. Possibly the person can be guided and directed to someone who can give the information and the support that is needed.
In Ireland our mental health services have been neglected for many years. Not just by the current government but by successive governments. I have visited people with mental health issues in Ireland where the hospital is more like a prison. Doors were locked, staff jangle keys repeatedly, a female ward in one hospital had one ward for women and one ward for men. Thirty women slept in one room and thirty men slept in another room in very cramped conditions. Rundown hospital environments with rundown unmotivated staff.
During this election I decided to take a stand. The national television broadcaster (RTE) asked me to come on a political show. I said to the audience organizer I wanted to ask the ministers that if they were reelected how would they improve the mental health system. On the day I was to attend the show I was canceled. There was no mention on the political show about mental health that night.
I decided I had to do something. I did not want to be silenced as easily as that. So I went on Twitter and told my followers what happened and that I felt the national broadcaster was censoring information. I asked my followers to re-tweet the message. For almost an hour I could see on my computer screen a record of rows of people re-tweeting my message continuously. My message was received by over seventy more people that had no connection with me on Twitter. People cared. In fact people who did not even know me were very annoyed judging by the text on their tweets.
I was happy that people did care about the neglect that governments give the mental health system. They probably have people they love too staying in substandard conditions in psychiatric hospitals. It is not the doctors or nurses fault it is the fact that very little government funding is put into the mental health system. Under the current government five hundred people have committed suicide. Many of them young men in the late teens early thirties. They simply did not get the help that they needed.
But I do believe I made a difference to the situation by asking people to spread the word that the mental health system is not an election issue. Suddenly RTE has made mental health an issue to be discussed, it has rarely been discussed by RTE in the past five years. They have done so at election time so it is a huge turnaround and it is sudden. I believe that just one person can make a big difference in the world. Maybe I did help, maybe I did not but at least I did something about it.