Today, I attended a Mass of Healing and Peace for the families and victims of the mass shooting in Santa Monica as June 7th is the one year mark. It was beautiful. No politics, no speeches. We were able to , if we had lost someone to take a white dove and set it free, representing their soul taking flight. I think that one single act had the greatest impact on me.
We lost a friend because of his developing schizophrenia. He committed suicide in our garage having moved in with us when his beautiful mind could no longer focus. It has been 9 months since my husband and I found Alex. We tried so many times to get him help. We sent him to Step Up on Second, he saw a therapist but one far away that did not know him. He could not find support groups. We could not commit him. He was not a danger to others, but we made it clear to everyone that needed to know about his condition.
These acts of violence statistically are prone to occur between the ages of 18-25, the age at which most doctor’s have identified as when psychic breaks occur. My call to action, where change can make a difference is in our communities. A plan to meet with schools, home owners, business owners, and the police department to keep track of and dialog open to access mental health care for those that are threatening violence , many times years in advance.
If we are silent about our own experiences because of stigma, how do we expect our young or their parent’s to seek counseling? At a time when we most need therapists, school counselors, and a safe hospital for 72 hour holds, they are closing down. In our area, Cedar Sinai closed it’s mental health wing. We are left with ONE Hospital, UCLA.
There is our inherent right to freedom and our inherent right to be safe that we are riding the line on when it comes to being aware of those that are becoming a danger to themselves and others.
I’ve stared into the eyes of several borderline young adults, thinking I could help them, one attacked a man, one killed an animal and one shot me. It’s time for the village.