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What the World Needs Now…

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WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS A MENTAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM!

By Shawna Cromwell

Content warning: Discusses mental health challenges and mentions suicide.

There is only a shell of something left, and it is not working. It is failing people that take that crucial first step: reaching out for help only to find there is no help. The system has left the building and has been gone for a very long time. 

There could not be a worse time for the system to collapse in on itself.  We need all hands on deck, but there are not enough “professionals” to fill the vast gap in mental health care.  A suicidal person cannot wait two weeks or a month. They need help right then and there.  You do not send someone home who is knowingly suicidal.

There is no system to be angry at or with. Design from the ground up an entirely different approach: how the treatment is given, a change of therapy, one that knows what the other is doing, where no one is left without assistance.  Even if someone in a crisis needs to be in a holding pattern, at least make the design one that allows the person in need to be in a safe and caring space.

A new system for everyone – right now!  Our youth are suffering: look at the incident in Fredericton. Our essential workers in health care are suffering, people of colour are suffering.  The system has crumbled.  Ironically, the system has been virtually non-existent for persons of colour and many other ethnic groups. The system has never seen other races, and for this, these populations have suffered dearly.

I have been in the process of starting a hub for Peer Support in the Weymouth and Digby areas, and possibly the Weymouth Falls site as well.  You might say, what will that do?  Well, it would be a haven: somewhere to be where you don’t feel alone or judged, but understood.  It is a process, and the pandemic has made my road a bit more challenging to navigate.  I have it all locked away in my mind—I have the blueprint.  The next step is to put my blueprint into action with the proper support, mentorship, community involvement, and input.

Mental health care is at a crossroads.  It is under a microscope by the fact that just about everyone is experiencing, to some degree, a mental health issue. Things need to change, and I can see it starting to—slowly. But much, much more needs to be done!  I have never seen mental health so closely scrutinized: it is almost like some people are jumping on the mental health bandwagon.    Don’t get me wrong, recognizing that the system is damaged is a good thing—but not if the only reason is to sell something to the detriment of the issue itself.

The people who want to see real change are not looking for fame and fortune – they are looking for systematic changes – a whole new mindset.  A fresh new perspective that will attract the right like-minded people.  People want a system that will treat all people with respect, dignity, empathy and compassion.  If you, a loved one or friend, needed mental health care—would you not fight to get it?

The people who want to see real change are not looking for fame and fortune – they are looking for systematic changes – a whole new mindset.  A fresh new perspective that will attract the right like-minded people.  People want a system that will treat all people with respect, dignity, empathy and compassion.  If you, a loved one or friend, needed mental health care—would you not fight to get it?

The following links are to articles that go to the core of Mental Health interventions’ need—to rebuild a broken system.  Please be advised the following stories deal with the issue of suicide.


Shawnalynn Cromwell - head and shoulders photo.

Shawnalynn Cromwell is a community ambassador with Inspiring Communities’ nested initiative Turning the Tide in Digby. Shawnalynn is a writer, changemaker and active community member in Weymouth Falls. 


Cover photo by Elina Krima from Pexels

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