Governor Brewer’s mental health advocacy confuses meby Susan Moreno on Sep. 25, 2010, under bi-polar, brain disorders, depression, Disability, General Mental Health, Health, Medicaid, mental illness, parity, Politics, recovery, schizophrenia, stigma
Talking about mental illness in one’s family has always been difficult. The issues surrounding mental illness continue to be emotional and sometimes controversial. Is that why Governor Brewer has abondoned her once passionate advocacy for people with mental illness?
According to recent press releases, Brewer’s involvement in state politics started with her activism pushing better treatment and care for our state’s seriously mentally ill population. Her son is diagnosed with a serious mental illness and has spent time in-patient at the Arizona State Mental Hospital. As a Mom with a son who had a serious mental illness, I certainly can understand her motivation to try and make a difference. Stigma continues to be pervasive and some still believe it’s the Mother’s fault when a mental illness presents itself. Character flaws, laziness, and violent behavior automatically get labeled as mental illnesses when medical science knows that these illnesses are actual biological brain disorders that are treatable. With proper medical treatment and support people have and do live in recovery.
Given all the positive news about the potential for recovery, why in the world has Govenor Brewer decided to not only distance herself from the issues, but supported drastic slashes to budgets that assist people with mental illness? I understand that we need to cut our spending, but why cut spending for our state’s most vulnerable? In the long run, as Gov. Brewer knows, we will end up spending more for emergency room visits, hospitalizations and incarcerations for ignored people living with a treatable mental illness. With all the publicity and nation wide visability she has created over the last several months, it seems a shame to me that she hasn’t used the opportunity to advance anti-stigma and the value of proper treatment to some of our states most vulnerable…….including her son. Is the illegal immigraton bandwagon the only issue she can focus on now?