Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Bleeding Heart Conservative

At work one of my duties is to answer the phone when it rings. On the other end may be a co-worker with a question, but most often I hear desperate voices wondering what can be done for themselves or a loved one. Today it seemed as there were just too many sad stories and not enough ways to give help. Usually there is a psychiatric story in the news - a crazed shooter, a suicide, criminals and victims. To hear a commentary after such a newsworthy event you would think that there is help for the asking, but that isn't so. Only the lucky ones get to spend some time in a psych hospital, and then there is no guarantee they will improve though most do. There are not enough beds for all the people who need one, not enough helpers. Every hospital or mental health center has criteria/standards that a potential patient/client must meet, and many fall between the cracks. People may have to wait months before even getting in to see a psychiatrist for meds or to talk with a therapist/licensed listener. That is just the way it is, especially for the poor who are the most afflicted. The least I can do is to listen kindly, validate their concerns, and offer a small word of encouragement.

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