Letter to the editor: Addressing mental health needs in our community

October 19, 2019, I attended the the first film of Edmonds Diversity Commissions’ free Film Series of the season, “CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion: A star-studded documentary on the portrayal of disabilities in entertainment. Do media’s portrayals impact society or vice versa?” (As written on the Diversity Commission’s Film SeriesBrochure)
As the film progressed, I wondered when will it get to the portrayal of mental health disabilities in Cinema? Later I learned the movie was heavily based on a 1994 book (A History of Physical Disability) in cinema. I also learned, during the discussion period, there is no one on the Diversity Commission representing the vast field of mental health. Yet, there is time for a mental health professional to apply for an open position until October 28. So, please do!
As the U.S. advances with mental health parity (http://afsp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Mental-Health-Parity-Issue-Brief-FINAL-6-18-19.pdf), individuals need to know their rights, (Fair Housing Brochure), Puget Sounds’ little ones need help now (WA Youth are Facing an Epidemic) and a crisis has cycled back to our fears of mental institutions (Privatization taking advantage of mentally ill).
Then I found an article Films inaccurately portray mental disorders, so I don’t know if adding the mental health films would have helped or hurt societies views of mental health disabilities. Historical ones would hurt, however there are many new ones which may help.  Credibly sourced documentaries however, may be best.
When we think of the needs in the vast field mental health within our community, what roles do we see for our Edmonds elected officials and other citizens regarding policy, advocacy, education, budgeting, etc?
Lori Rasmussen, MPA
Community Advocate

One Reply to “Letter to the editor: Addressing mental health needs in our community”

  1. Thank u for mentioning mental illness which many suffer in silence because people are judged like women with breast cancers were not long ago and discriminated against for jobs.

    This is definitely something for the Diversity committee. People with mental illness shouldn’t have to suffer shame and job loss just because they have a disease.


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