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Mental Health Crisis

I was glad to hear Mike Cortese (Metro Council District 4) speak up about making Mental Health a priority.  This is what he said on his website :


Mental illness is one of the greatest health challenges we face today. The mental health of our citizens is a central component to creating and achieving goals in education, public safety, and economic prosperity. I will promote policies and programs that champion this cause.

If you are struggling with a mental illness, I want you to know that you are not alone. If you do not have access to resources, I will work to connect you with the services provided by the city. I will also work to promote policies and educational opportunities to help all those who are silently struggling in our district and the greater Nashville community.

I agree with Mike!

I have had my own mental health challenges and I know how hard it is to get and stay mentally/spiritually/emotionally healthy when you are trapped in a bad situation or are not able to get the help you need. I went from being told that I would need to be on medication for the rest of my life to getting and staying mentally healthy for several years, without medication. I had an awesome therapist and sometimes went twice a week. I got healthy during a period of time when I had unlimited, "free" counseling visits. I had an great therapist who had decades of experience. He was a nurse practitioner, but he never prescribed medication for my depression because he believed they would not help me.
My depression was situational, not any kind of chemical imbalance in my brain. We worked on my coping skills and doing what I could to improve my situation. 
I believe some people who are overwhelmed may find some relief with medication, but it never helped me. Having access to a good therapist did. 
I believe we should have free, unlimited healthcare for everyone. I believe that should happen by mobilizing volunteers/mentors in the community. We have people who work suicide hotlines and refer people to others for help. I think the vast majority of people struggling with life issues, mental health issues need friends/mentors. 
I would like to see more mentorships and I would like to see more lay counselors. There are a lot of churches and non-profits and when people plug in to these sources of strength and encouragement, life gets easier to manage.
A good friend is better than a "shrink." I have been blessed with an awesome church family and also with the professional help I needed to get and stay healthy. 
I know that there are people without transportation who are getting in-home domestic violence counseling. That is good. I had many hours of "therapeutic visitation" which was up to $65 an hour when I got it it after it was court-ordered against the law, but was the only way I could see my daughter. I don't know how much agencies get paid through DCS, but I the people doing the "therapy" are not mental health professionals, they are more like "caseworkers." 
It is the poorest people who are denied the resources they need to get better. And we too often harshly judge people with addictions. We all have been, or could be, addicted to something or have unhealthy habits that affect our lives and the lives of others in a negative way. 

Lydia Hubbell for Council, Lydia Hubbell, Treasurer
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