Dear Reader who just picked up a leaflet with these words on it,
Have you ever been told you are unstable? Have you ever been thrown out like trash? Have you ever felt sad, depressed, and angry? Have you been excluded one too many times? Well, I have. And worse yet, by my own community of blind people, all of whom are associated with the National Federation of the Blind, and they are totally not in line with the not judging folks you don’t know. It’s obvious when one man, a man I dare not say here, tells the rest of the folks in NFB of Colorado center in Littleton that I’m not welcome. Where else am I not welcome? Where else am I going to be thrown away from? I know plenty of folks with mental illness who are treated like trash, shit, whatever word you use for it. Here are some facts and figures about mental illness:
- One in five American adults has a mental illness.
- About 95% of the mentally ill are victims of crime.
- 1 in every 3 persons in America will have some form of dealings with mental illness.
- 50% of the entire population has dealt with mental illness at some point in their life. There’s no room to judge.
Now, given these facts and stats, what is there to judge here? I wish for you, the holder of this leaflet, to walk up to every blind person you encounter in the Littleton and Metro Denver areas, tell them about these facts and figures, and then instruct them with ways they can best deal with us. Here’s a few ways you can deal with us:
- Recognize the symptoms. It’s not all that easy.
- Recognize triggers and anxiety and stuff. Certain things trigger and certain things don’t. I’m seriously considering all my triggers, and so should every person who reads this leaflet.
- Recognize that mentally ill people are not all obsessed or dangerous. We’re people, people with hearts and personalities. We are all people who care about others.
- If you got a problem with one of us, come back and sit down and discuss it with us, do not bring in the police or people with guns drawn. Some of us hate that. Others are sick of it. And that’s that.
- If you’re a significant other or ex of someone with mental illness, do us all a favor and do not break up with us prematurely and let others’ judgments tell you tht we’re dangerous. We’re not.
So if you’ve read and reviewed this leaflet, great job! You are on your way to becoming a successful advocate for mental health rights and acceptance. If you have not, then a few demerit points should go on your record. These facts, figures, and other tidbits are things all of us should read.
Thank you for your consideration, cooperation, and contributions to your community.