Mental Health

This week, I had plans to share a different post. Then, there was an active shooter situation in my hometown. At the grocery store I went to with my mom when I was little.  

We do not know all of the details about what happened this week, and the investigation will take some time.

When I was in college – in Denver – there was a shooting situation at a suburban high school, and many of my classmates started getting calls (for those with cell phones, which was not everyone at that time), pager messages (yes, I am that old), emails, and text messages from their families all over the country because all that was reported in the news was that it was happening at a Denver area school.

From the time of the Columbine shooting to today, with all of the things in between – horrific situations, teaching our kids how to shelter in place, training our teachers how to respond and protect the kids – the police and first responders have been there, taking control of the situations and going in to face their mortality. In some cases, civilians have stepped up and intervened and saved the day. But in most cases, the first responders have been there, and I am so sad this week that we lost a good man, who showed such bravery and heroism in being first on that scene Monday afternoon.

In all of that time, we have still not tackled the biggest problem we have: mental health.

Whether it is our children who are struggling with remote school, teenagers who fall through the cracks in the system, or adults who go untreated, mental health is one of those things we talk about endlessly, and do not actually address.

As a mom, as a citizen, I want to know what solutions people have. I want active ideas for how to address this problem in our society.

I don’t want to hear anything about blame. This is not the time to blame anyone or anything. This is the time for us to have a real discussion. Find ways to actually address the elephant in the room.

Bullying. Social media shaming. Mean girls (and guys). Vilifying those we disagree with.

None of these things are ok. At. All.

Friends, lift each other up. Be kind. Love one another. Reach out to your friends and neighbors. And let’s all work together to find solutions. To help people who need it.

To take away the stigma of mental health, so that people who need help are willing and able to reach out and ask for it.

If you are looking for resources, check out Mental Health Colorado, Colorado Crisis Services, or the similar organization in your state through Mental Health America and their advocacy network. If you or someone you know is a danger to your(them)self or others, call the Colorado Crisis Line at 1-844-493-8255 or 911 in an emergency, or text “TALK” to 38255.

Be involved in your kids, their lives and their friends’ lives – and your friends too. Show you care. Show them all love. Above all else, be good humans and support everyone around you.

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