As I sit here today, I take a hard look back just a couple of years ago as I was writing my senior paper for my bachelor’s degree in psychology on gun violence and mental health. As a young adult, I have always been a fighter. Fighting for those who were scared to speak up. Advocating for those that felt helpless. Never did I think I would be writing for the future generations to come.
As I dodged bullets in the heart of Brooklyn, N.Y. as a child for the sole premise of survival; I am now a grandmother and must worry about my future grandchildren in school. So, I sit here, and I am writing this pouring my heart out because I worry for the entire future generation. I am concerned with the families who have lost their loved ones to gun violence and the survivors as well.
I am taking in the unsurmountable of media that pours through each channel of the television, the many podcasts, YouTube channels, radio, and all areas of media that is covering this loss to us as a nation. What has truly set the light bulb off for me is that we speak of gun reform, gun restrictions, gun laws, but not so much on mental health. The families who have lost loved ones and the survivors will forever be traumatized. This trauma will sneak up when you least expect it and my question, I pose to you is will we have adequate mental health resources in place for them all?
As the issue of gun reform seems to always be revisited each time we suffer mass shootings at the hands of gun violence, why are we not looking at the mental health crisis we’re in right now. The mental health crisis we have been suffering pre-pandemic and post-pandemic.
It Is Time To Take Action
The Blooming of the Future
The blooming flowers in my eyes are a resemblance of what a prosperous future we can have. I ask why is blame posed on mental health versus putting action in place for those who need it yesterday, today, and in the future. Mental health is just as important as getting access to physical health care. Access to cancer screenings, sports physical exams, immunizations, and well-baby check-ups are necessary and needed. Mental health is just as needed but carries such a stigma that it impedes some to seek help. However, for those who do want to access this care, it is often seen with waiting times, lack of availability, lack of insurance, and so much more.
My ask to you is please initiate action, because without action there is no change.
One common thread we all have is the willingness to want to see our loved one the next day. Some people don’t have that. Some people battle mental health in silence. Some people battle mental health alone, because of a lack of insurance or lack of care. Some people battle mental health, and you would never know because they were ingrained in that it is a sign of weakness to ask for help.
Take a moment and reach out to a friend, family member, or even stranger and ask them how they are doing. It doesn’t matter if you are for or against the 2nd amendment because the common thread, we all have as a society is we all bleed the same color at the end of the day. Therefore, reach out to your local community, and non-profit organizations, and start a grassroots movement, if you’re a podcaster, a person of authority, public figure please utilize your platform to speak for those who would not be heard.
If you are a writer, write your local politicians, memorandums, petitions, and a book and have your voice heard. I implore you to remember tomorrow is never promised and it doesn’t matter what party you are, or what race you are, but at the end of the day look around you and think about how you want to be remembered. I want to be remembered that I fought for what I believed in and continue to fight for a better future for all. My loved ones and all of society.
--Keep Singing, Writing And Dancing In The Streets--Jess