Response to Four Decades Of Magazine Gun Violence Covers:
I have a mental illness. I was told by 2 community mental health clinics that I was “not sick enough” to continue receiving care. When I was “expelled” from these clinics (with no notice in one of them) I was left to fend for myself when it came to meds (no psychiatrist access because I am “too well”)and therapy. I am high-functioning but this threw me into a tail-spin. This was done because of budget cuts - they could only care for the sickest of the sick. During a particularly rough patch, I contacted a suicide hotline and found that it was no longer staffed because of budget cuts. I self advocate and eventually found a psychiatrist and a psychologist that could help me. I spend 1/2 of my income on dr.’s and meds - no more sliding scale for services or assistance from the drug companies. I know what happens without these things & it scares me to death. I don’t want to be that person. Some people are not able to self advocate and simply fall through the cracks. I’ve always felt that a physical illness affects the individual (and their family, etc.) but a mental illness affects the individual and society. This is simply unacceptable and I urge others to contact their elected officials and tell them how essential community mental health systems are. The individuals who commit atrocities like the connecticut shootings are merely a symptom of a larger problem.