It is so amazing how organizations are popping up all over the world helping us join forces to tackle mental health diseases. I was privileged enough to speak in Athens, Greece a few years ago about iFred’s rebranding depression work, and learned from countries around the world just how important it is we work together to solve our greatest challenges.
I’ve just recently been asked to join their advisory board, and continue to be amazed and impressed by the work of all throughout the world.
It was celebrated across the U.S. when we were able to get mental health parity law passed. I don’t by any means intend to minimize this work – but do we realize that what we accomplished was to treat the brain in a similar fashion to the heart, liver, and intestines? Should we really have to fight that hard for that? Those that were involved in the legislation understand the intense work, dedication, and challenge this simple piece of legislation involved – and unfortunately the rest of the world is so far behind us in many different ways.
I don’t know how to say it any other way; society is overwhelming me. My brain and head has been spinning for weeks trying to get my hands around the problem, but it’s so big. As I review the changes in the U.S. economy, technology, and communication, it makes my ADHD spin.
I run a for profit company (technically) and manufacture light bulbs. When I attempted to get them manufactured in the U.S., I couldn’t find anyone willing to do it. Everything was done in China or Mexico.
There was a recent response about the cost of coffee / those with mental health issues. I thought it was pretty insightful so I would explore it some more. Are people that have problems paying bills buying coffee? Are we sacrificing our mental health or our electric bill for a $5-7 cup of coffee from Starbucks? And what, exactly, are the effects of coffee and debt on our mental health?
So I think I will first look at some statistics: We know that about 1 in 4 people are struggling with a mental health issue at any given time. And an article on MSN Money points out that over 43% of households are spending more money than they make, and have an average of $8,000 of credit card debt. In regards to coffee consumption, 54% in the U.S. drink coffee regularly, and 18.4% of those drink gourmet coffee daily.
In this economy it is getting increasingly difficult to take care of mental health needs. Medications are increasing in some respects, insurance not covering much, and all the little ‘extras’ that we have in our lives that keep our brains working well (gyms, vacations, etc.) seem to go by the wayside. Ironically, it is even more important than ever that in stressful times we keep our brain in tip top shape to ward off the stress that hard financial times bring.
So what are some strategies for reducing costs / maintaining mental health under tight budgets?