American culture is that of the detached. Every couple of weeks the news is threaded with stories of gun violence and flamboyant instances of mental health issues. When the debates start about gun control, each side rallies for their beliefs but what about the survivors?
An interesting tag line appears too often now: ‘thought and prayers’. Everyone sends their well wishes to those that are effected because it’s the polite thing to do. Then it’s business as usual—out of sight out of mind.
Writing off a tragic incident with a contemptuous attitude is why change is impossible. After the coverage ends and the events enter the archives, the people reeling the most are forgotten. There are tangible effects of tragedy that few recognize with compassion. Trauma survivors are consistently reliving the act through injury, post traumatic stress and anxiety.
Better resources should be available for survivors. Being mentally healthy is paramount to leading a productive life. The fastest way to get back on track is by having support. Rallying the community to help fund and support these efforts is the first step.
The front line begins in the trauma center. Hospitals need more funding for research, training and equipment to help trauma patients get adequate care. The efficiency of care is literally the difference between life and death. The National Trauma Institute is fighting to get more federal funding to address these issues. The more awareness that is drawn to the issue can save lives.
A support system is the next step in providing care. Mental health services can be limited and expensive depending on the location. Mental Health America is a one stop shop that helps people find affordable healthcare in there area. Support is also available through the Trauma Survivors Network. Peer support groups and family classes are available throughout the country.
These organizations are invaluable resources to those who need them. Incidents of violence need to be met with solutions. Skepticism and rationalizations of violent acts hinder the actions that can be helpful in the future. It is to the benefit of society to be concerned about these issues because thoughts and prayers are not enough.