Hello friends, this past week I have so much to think about. Get angry about. I ALMOST left the safety of my couch, but thought no, don’t resort to such desperate measures immediately. No. I needed to think tactically and strategically, and the best way to do that would be to get feedback and action through this blog. Recently (and they have been for a while) a number of events, conferences, launches and inaugurations go on each day that cost super millions that could pay for THOUSANDS of people’s healthcare. One such example were the discussions convened in Geneva on non-communicable diseases. Whilst I only saw the proceedings from a certain perspective, I would say that people with mental illness and intellectual disability were NOT adequately represented, and even if they were, they certainly didn’t look or act like the people who live where I do. Or most importantly the ones who live in areas where healthcare is a luxury. The ones who are forgotten, whose lives are forgotten, who communities are forgotten, in exchange for a per diem or an unnecessary party favour.
I watched proceedings, the pretty outfits, made-up faces, matching t-shirts, and importance level of each person who wore these, much have cost so much, event branding and lanyards and labels, and a whole lot of funds not dedicated to funding mental health services the world over. And I have to ask, beg, plead, that perhaps we could exchange a couple starters for services, main meals for medication or medical staff, an appropriate number of psychiatrists to diagnose instead of desserts? And when I saw an important person from this session fly home business class… And so painfully thought, that I had LITERALLY begged, cried, laid on beds with no proper linen, been treated badly by staff who did not care about and left me to cry myself to sleep. That some days some of medication was not available. But let me not have sour grapes – that person needed to be comfortable in transit.
From these proceedings, or the recent decorative presidential inauguration in South Africa (cost approx $10 million), I’ve conceded friends that it is not because there aren’t funds to help us. No. It’s because branding is important. It is because celebrity advocates can better articulate the experience of the masses, well because they have better boardroom manner (dress and make up). It is because we cannot be seen, we are never heard, and never matter. I have unsuccessfully tried to access simple services, and I, like many others have either been turned away, directed elsewhere, or collapse during the process (which I have also done), because the pressure and stress of being in a Public Hospital’s Triage which was too much for me. Perhaps I would have received a service had I worn an appropriately branded t-shirt / matching cap / hoodie? Instead my friends I am asking you – what should we do to tell the World and the Health Organisations in it, that we are the ones who matter. Our health matters and we mind oh so very much, when you expend the few resources that there are on the wrong things. Be part of those who support us as opposed to those who don’t. I am 4 M’s Bipolar Mom.
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