Mental Health Paradox
Written by Sarah Nayeem
The ridiculous and American feeling of working in Mental Health tirelessly and wholeheartedly to treat PTSD and other serious emotional conditions in the context of a society that chooses to arm racist hateful people with military weapons and chooses not to do anything about mass shootings, police shootings and the fact that at least 1/3 of Covid deaths could have been prevented with access to healthcare, people dying in prisons and camps for being Black and brown, deported and left to die, murdered and harassed for being Asian LGBTQIA, poor, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Indigenous, Latin, Street vendors, children…we mental health workers hold space for people as they navigate loss, grief anxiety, depression and the impact of the cruel disease of capitalism on individuals and families and communities.
I pray today that Countries who are rich like the US forgo financial gain through patents and ensure vaccine access around the world to prevent large scale human loss and trauma. I pray that every gun is melted down and turned into housing for all. I pray that families are reunited and the ICE camps are closed down and turned into community centers, that prisons are shut down and all police departments are defunded and abolished especially from schools. I pray for reparations for Black people and that Native Americans are given these lands back for the Earth to have a chance to overcome industrial abuse. I pray for Universal Health care. These are all issues that directly impact my work in Mental health care every day with every patient and in my own experience with mental health. Man made trauma is particularly difficult to recover from and we see it every day- violence in the form of poverty, racism and lack of access to basic needs.
Mental health work is political work. We want to see healthier, just systems in place to promote real healing and shift away from collective trauma and cognitive dissonance.