Posted by: Reginald Cyntje | July 16, 2014

If you encounter anyone with mental health problems…

If you encounter anyone with mental health problems be compassionate, understanding and thoughtful. If you don’t understand the severity behind mental health issues, it is best to do some research. Especially if you don’t plan on picking up the pieces when you offer advice that can lead to serious consequences (homelessness, abuse, rape, death).

We live in a world of predators. There are many people who are compassionate but there are others who will take advantage of any opportunity to use and abuse.

My family has been on the frontline working, researching and seeking guidance as we try to aid in the healing process. One of the biggest challenges has been misinformation shared with a mentally impaired family member.

We’ve encountered predator professionals claiming to have the answers… Our ability to help has been limited by laws meant to protect but they only prevent safety. We’ve been ignored by authorities. We’ve been charged big money for nothing by lawyers.

Paperwork that works in one city/state is useless in another. Though I understand the reasoning, it does not make sense to have laws in place that only react to trauma. An individual must be raped or commit an act of violence (self or toward someone else) before action can take place. Being proactive seems futile.

In the end we only want to ensure the safety of a loved one. A fragile individual that dedicated their life to building community during stronger times.

Four long years of ups and mostly downs. Four long years of struggling with folks claiming to help but impeding the process. Four long years of self-proclaimed professionals willing and ready to take money from the sick. Four long years of being ignored by officials until major trauma takes place.

I’ve listened to many stories of friends who have been through similar experiences. I listened as they talked about their dis-ease. I’ve listened to different religious opinions. I’ve listened to different cultural beliefs. In the end, all the information I’ve received has not prepared me for this…

I don’t know what the end will be. We have witnessed tremendous trauma…

The human body/spirit is complex. Saying I don’t know can possibly help save a life or get them the help they need. Don’t be afraid to say I don’t know. Don’t be afraid to seek guidance. Mental illness is real.

My loved one was a vegetarian. She avoided gluten products. She ate raw foods. She practiced yoga. She prayed. She juiced. She loved community. She is now suffering on the streets of Hawaii. The struggle continues…

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