Guns guns and more guns.

Before everyone starts threatening to kill me, I own a gun.  My Dad owns a gun.  No one in my family shoots up schools.  But I am also not a felon, a crack head or mentally deranged.  I do think we need to make guns harder to get, but that alone will not solve the problem.

NO ONE IS TRYING TO CONFISCATE YOUR GUN!!!

I have seen more shootings than I want to see.  We are not being killed by immigrants.  We are being killed from within.  As a mental health professional since 1993, I have seen many things and I understand why it is happening in schools.

1.)  The way we parent out children.  We don’t like to tell them no,  hurt their feelings, let them fail or not make the team.  We either smother, enable or helicopter.  So when they grow up and cannot function as an independent adult, life becomes a cruel and scary place.  The children have no coping skills.

2.)  Bullying and social media.  This falls back on parenting again.  We need to monitor the use of social media and know what our kids are doing. Violence in school starts out of school and continues into school. If your kid is a little punk ass bully, find out why and get help.  Maybe you taught him or her that.  Maybe he needs attention.  Maybe he needs you to take away his phone.

3.)  Understaffed and overworked school personnel.  25 to 30 kids in a classroom is not optimal for a learning environment.  We have few guidance counselors and social workers.  Too many kids slip through the cracks. They don’t have any one to talk to and the signs are missed.  We need to arm teachers with help not guns.  That means you might need to pay more in taxes to make the school secure.

4.)  Violent games and movies.  Parents once again ignore the ratings and parental controls and let 8 year olds play Grand Theft Auto.  God forbid the child not get what they want.  They see death and destruction, but the player comes back to life. Not real life people.  Guns can actually kill people forever.

5.)  Easy access to drugs and guns.  Many recent shootings the child accessed the parents gun.  Really you leave a loaded gun on the kitchen table while we cook dinner.  Buy a holster or at least lock it up to eat dinner.  Is ISIS going to run in while you eat?

6.)  Gun safety is not required to buy a gun.  You just get one.  You need to learn things for a conceal carry, but not to own a gun. To get a license to drive a car, we have to pass a written test, a vision test, have a learners for a few months and pass a driving test. Then we have to register the car and get insurance.  Why can’t we do that with a gun?  If you show you can’t drive, too many tickets, DUI, your privledge is taken away for awhile.  Why can’t we do that with guns? Okay you are suicidal right now, maybe you shouldn’t have weapons until you feel better.

7.)  People are just more violent now and are desensitized to it.  We lack empathy and caring for others.

8.)  We are more narcissistic than we used to be. We think we are entitled to get things and have to make people pay when we don’t. People haven’t learned they aren’t the center of the universe and the world doesn’t revolve around them.

9.)  Underfunded mental health.  If more people were insured, then more people can get help.  Therapy and psychiatric medciations cost money.  I can’t pay my rent on free care. I would like to but I can’t.  Medicaid might be an entitlement but it has become a safety concern now.

10.) We are too involved in the rhetoric and don’t listen to the other side.  So we can’t compromise as country and meet in the middle.  We are too busy pointing the finger at the other side.

11.) I fail to see the civilian purpose for an AR 15.  Also magazines and bump stocks are not in the constitution. I guess I can use it, when North Korea nukes us.

12.)  Apathy.

These kids in Parkland are our future.  How dare anyone criticize them for using the 1st Amendment?  They were traumatized beyond any way we will ever know or at least I hope I never know. This is how they chose to grieve.  They will take action.  They will not idly sit by and watch the adults fail. They were told to stay in class, (they were in class and got shot)  be quiet, take CPR, called commies, and we are now bullying the victims of gun violence.  See #2. That is really pathetic.  If you don’t like what they are saying, then don’t listen.  But you don’t threaten their lives.  Go back to # 10.

My daughter lives 10 miles from Parkland Fl.  She works at an architecture firm that remodels schools.  She has been in Marjory Stoneman High School.  She could have been there working that day.  She could have been gunned down at age 27.  I could have been sitting beside her in the hospital and have some politician or reporter come by to offer thoughts and prayers.  This would have been my answer:

My thoughts are that you get off your ass and fix the problems of this country that caused this to happen.  My prayer is that someone pays my daughters medical bills and that she doesn’t die.  If she dies I have nothing to lose.  You don’t want to mess with a mother with nothing to lose.  When you have nothing to lose, you petition, you march, you do sit ins, you write editorials, you mobilize voters, and you make phone calls.  You also lose your mind.  You seek revenge and justice. My prayer would be that you wouldn’t be in my way and my thoughts would not be about your feelings. 

The Bible says out of the mouth of Babes and little children shall lead them.  Matthew 18: 2-5. Isaiah 11:6. We are so fixated on six week old fetuses that we forget that they become children at Sandy Hook, teenagers at Columbine and Parkland, parishioners in Charleston, concert goers in Vegas, and constituents in Tucson. We can’t call ourselves pro life and love objects that take a life. No Jesus did not own a weapon.  He said turn the other cheek.  We call ourselves a Christian nation and yet the phrase love one another and forgive are not quoted.

We are fixated on who Donald Trump slept with and not that he played golf days after a mass shooting.  We are fixated on salacious news and  don’t turn the news when they verbally attack children.  We are fixated on gossip and We dont condemn politicians for calling children lesbians and commies.  We don’t change the channel at commentators that make stuff up.  These kids are seeing all of this and registering to vote.  They will change the world in 10 years and I am grateful.

Now let me make sure my Glock is put away safe.

 

 

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Sexual harrassment

The news has been bombarded with allegations, victims and famous powerful men going down for abusing women, and girls.  It seems that allegations aren’t believed if they are from a long time ago.  I have many clients who were in their 40s and 50’s and revealed abuse for the first time.  Some did mention it to their family and were not believed so they didn’t mention it again. The length of time does not make it a lie.  Women can have flashbacks for years and can remember vividly the event even decades afterwards.  They can remember the shoes, the smell of cologne, a song playing in the background. They don’t tell people because they do not want to be treated like the women in the news.  They need to be heard.  Roy Moore has suspicious behavior that deserves a look.

I passed!!!

I passed my inspection.  Finally mental health skill building is on the way.  What is mental health skill building?  It helps patients who have been hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder overnight and given a diagnosis of an AXIS one disorder and a prescription.  It is to keep them from being hospitalized.  It is to go into their home for up to 12 hours a week to work on medication management, stress management, symptom and diagnosis education, budgeting, household management, parenting, substance abuse, etc.  They can have it for six months at a time.

Number 19

I am number 19.  It has been a long wait from 02/15 to get to Number 19.  While I wait clients are not being services, jobs are not being created and the government has slowed it down.

The 16th of the month is the next time I can check.  I am afraid to get my hopes up, but it did drop 8 numbers.  If it does that again, I will be number 11.  Other times it only moved 3 or none.  It used to move about 20 a time.  I was excited and prepared to start interviewing and looking at electronic billing systems.

Now I am waiting until the number is under 10 to start on the electronic billing.  I will start collecting resumes in September to prepare for a quick move down the line.  I will start marketing for clients when I am under 5.  It is hard to plan a business when you don’t know when to start it.

Number 27

I am number 27 on the list for Mental Health Skill Building. I applied for it in Feburary 2015.  Yes that is right almost a year and a half ago. What is mental health skill building?  It is an in home service for the chronic mental health patients that have been hospitalization. We help them go to their medical appointments, their medications, socialization, and other needed services for 10 hours a week.  There professionals have a bachelors or better.  They are paid well.  They keep people out of the hospital.

These agencies like mine can hire about 10 people.  Right now an agency is number 285 on the list. That is 2,850 jobs waiting for almost 10,000 clients. We have shootings of and by mentally ill people.  The hospitals are full and can’t keep them.

I called to find out why.  They have two people for the whole state of Virginia to process the paperwork.  Virginia has 8.401 million people. If 10 % are mentally ill, that is 840,000 people.  These workers have to verify information, do office inspections, background checks and see if forms and procedures match current laws.  2 people.

If they move 3 steps a time, it will take an additional 9 months for my application to start the process.  That will be next year. How long can our mentally ill people wait?  How many jobs go unfilled?

I have contacted the papers, and wrote a Senator.  I am pushing on.  Next I go to television. I want to serve the disadvantaged, employ people.  Do my civic duty.

Number 27 is not so great after all.

 

 

Virginian pilot article

I probably should not watch the news.  I get too upset over injustice.  A prisoner in our jail who was mentally ill died.  He was in jail for shoplifting candy.  Most times he would spend a few days in and be out.  He was detained for months on a mental health order.  No bed was available.  He did not get proper treatment.  He was malnourished and suicidal.  He died.  The news papers and TV are all over it.  But there are no beds it isn’t our fault.  Why was he in jail so long for a shoplifting offense.  He wasn’t even convicted.  Jail guards are not prepared to deal with chronic mental illness.  He was in solitary, which deteriorated his condition.  His family tried to get him out.  Many visits were denied due to his behaviors. If there was no bed, he should have been sent home with a mental health skill building agency to work with him.  Oh wait, there aren’t enough of those.  Why is that?  I applied in 02/15 to be a mental health skill builder provider.  I was number 178 on the list.  Now in May I am number 38 on the list.  They have two workers in Richmond processing all the applications for developmental group homes, outpatient, MHSB, TDT, IHH, IOP, substance abuse, and transitional living.  The whole state of Virginia has two workers to process at the present time 258 applications.  This isn’t the department that audits and monitors.  I bet the fraud unit to recoup medicaid money has more than two workers.

The young man needed help.  His family wanted to help him.  We let him down by trying to save money.

Do the math.  Each agency would probably hire about 10 workers at over minimum wage.   258 x 10=2,580 jobs in our state.  New graduates just out of school in all parts of the state. One of those workers could have helped him, but the paperwork has bogged down their agency.

We should be ashamed.  Call your state delegate and senator.  The next person might be someone you love.

Patty Duke

I was saddened by the death of Patty Duke.  She was a champion for the rights of the mentally ill.  She bravely disclosed her diagnosis in a time when people didn’t do so.  She spoke out for others.  She was a celebrity that used her fame for good.  I will always remember her performance of Annie Sullivan in Helen Keller.  She was courageous.  She even wrote about her experience in her autobiography Call Me Anna.   Others have made public their illnesses after her brave disclosure.  Now it has less stigma and shame. Her son Sean Austin encourages people to send money to mental health or to her foundation.

www.pattyduke.net/links.html

The Patty Duke Mental health project.

My prayers and condolences to her family and friends.  Let her legacy live on.