How are we going to do it?
I wanted to elaborate a bit deeper on the total absence of any mental health representation at the Walk The Talk event organized by the WHO last Sunday.
Other handicaps were represented, mainly physical ones but not us.
It has been on my mind since Sunday and left me speechless, until now. I know why it left me speechless. For the first time that I was living, in the midst of this major event organized by the world’s largest organization and we were left out, to add salt to injury it took place during the Mental Awareness Month.
This blunder, for lack of better word, affected me far more than I would have liked. We are all here in our community trying everything we can within our power to fight the stigmas, to make people aware that we exist and that we are beautiful people. And there, Sunday, I realized that we are alone.
Even though the WHO mentions in its statistics that forty-four percent of the world’s population suffers from some mental illness on rotating basis as some people come in and out it due less severe disorders which are easier to cure. I cannot understand their lack of interest. I approached several people working for this event, and none of them had anything to say; they smiled and said nothing giving the impression that they were doing something more important, one said hmm…maybe next time. Through the walk, we had booths where we were expected to answer some questions. One question was “How many people will work throughout the world to improve and promote Health Awareness by the year 2023”. The answer was three billion and then asked out of the 3 billion how many will work for Mental Health Awareness. It made me sick as none, out of three people working for the WHO gave me an answer. I was starting to become agitated and angry, that is when my boy told me “ain’t a big deal Dad, let it go.” I honestly felt at the end of the day that we don’t matter to them.
I still had a great day with my friends and my boy. I didn’t let this affect me on Sunday. It is only these past few days that feeling gained ground on me.
We’re left out, which makes me come back to what I have written many times that we only have each other to build and long-lasting and robust group within our community which they won’t be able to ignore. But for this to happen, we need significant funding, a legal structure, and a robust mentally ill staff.
I am building up a sizeable file to be presented to large foundations and other organizations, hospitals, and others to solicit funding. This is a substantial challenge even if we have funds to work with, but without funding, it will a hard and lengthy road.
This file will be presented in the near future as I want to gain more credibility within our community, it will enable me to present our case with more confidence.
Peace and serenity