Dear President Trump,
I’d like a little of your time to talk to you about mental illness and mental health. I don’t know what your understanding of mental illness and mental health is, but I speak for myself and for my friends who are sufferers, and for many others who are affected in so many different ways by the broad umbrella term “mental health issues’… some of us take medication, others don’t, each of us is unique and there are of course different extremes and the severity of conditions differs widely. My concern is that another group of people are being labelled, stigmatised and ostracised, and without deep thought catagorised as dangerous.
All of this because it seems that it is easier to demonise the vulnerable than it is to deal with the hatred and violence of the culture that you have created. A culture that is increasingly racist, sexist, homophobic and is toxic. A culture where power and wealth easily stamp on and stamp out the poor, the stranger, the different.
A culture where guns are easily accessible and where anxiety and fear of the other is nurtured is surely bad for the mental health of anyone. Locking “them” up, or deporting them is not the answer. Nor dare I say is the threat of the death penalty favoured in so many States.
Now I know I speak as a foreigner and from another country, in my defence I have lived in the USA, but I am speaking as a human being who sees a world in turmoil and who longs for hatred and killing, war and all violence to cease. We do not conquer evil with evil, hate with hate, we do not bring about peace by regulation, though there is one that so many in your country are calling out for; the banning of guns.
I remember my first visit to Wal-Mart, and the shock of realising that along with popcorn I could purchase a hand gun. I always stayed away from that section of the store but it haunted me. My neighbours had guns, I remember being told, and remember wondering why, to protect themselves and their families? Where had such fear of others come from, and that fear is being fed…
So while it may be easy to blame the mentally ill, I am suggesting that there is a deeper problem, the whole culture is sick, the world is sick, sick and tired, we need another way, the way of love, of inclusion, of peace replacing fear.
I am certain you won’t read this but I am posting it anyway, and I will pray for you, for your country and for the whole world. We can all make a difference, some have more influence than others, please use your influence to create a gentler rather than a greater nation.