With rising prices and living costs, people are less likely to donate to charities. With services diminishing, and criteria changing for who is mentally ill or solely delusional or simply homeless, people with severe mental health challenges are falling through the crevices and cracks.
Many years back, when someone was hallucinating, whether auditory, olfactory, or visual, the goal was to get them on psychiatric medications and stabilized. Now the new model is to let them be the way they are. This philosophy or mode would be like saying if a child wants to wander out the front door and cross a road, they should have the free will to do that. With this new way of handling intense mental health, psychoses, and our most vulnerable elderly, many wandering souls are taking over our streets, uncared for and often left dying in a park, under a bridge, or on a sidewalk.
People with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, PTSD, OCD, and schizoaffective disorder absolutely should have free will yet be allowed to get stabilized. Sometimes though, when people are fully psychotic, they will not choose to get the help they deserve and for what we all pay taxes for to help them. What do we do then, let them roam around barefoot in the winter without a coat or shoes? Digging up some warm clothes and donating to shelters will be a good deed for 2022.
The homeless population is primarily people with mental health challenges, drug addiction (which is a mental health challenge,) and sometimes people with a low IQ who do not know how to care for themselves on their own. What is our responsibility as tax-paying citizens? It is to make sure our government agencies are responsible for our hard-earned money. The tax dollars earmarked for mental health services are significant when we make sure they find their way to the most vulnerable and at-risk people. Moreover, we want the money to go towards worthwhile programs that create long-term solutions and ends homelessness, abuse while increasing tolerance and acceptance for taking care of our most high risk human beings.
Many great leaders have suffered from mental health challenges, or a family member or friend they know has suffered. If a loved ones find their way to a nice neighborhood in a tent, with very little food and water, would the more fortunate amongst us think that is okay? When the low down, locked down, and thrown out folks, the millions of strangers remain unknown by us, is it okay?
No one wants these folks in their palatial neighborhoods; that is understandable. However, where should these wandering souls end up?
Will each taxpayer, individual or corporation make their dollars count towards the care of mental health in this country? Will the dollars get to the mental health services that provide care that will end the madness, the wayward lives lingering in front of all of us? What kind of housing solutions do we have long-term before all of our sidewalks and even a home's driveway become the resting place for the people that never rest?
Figuring out the best place to donate money is a grand New Years' resolution. It is also important to consider calling the congressperson in the area. Ask them to explain how the money winds up helping those that deserve to be cared for by all of us.
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Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work. Stone is the founder of