There is much irony – very sad irony, but irony all the same – that a man desperately in need of psychiatric help has recently killed a member of parliament on the streets of Britain.
Governments of late, but particularly this current government, seem to have taken great joy from cutting the national mental health bill, when so many have warned them of the consequences (no doubt Jo Cox included).
What they don’t seem to realise is that if anything is going to bring this country to its knees, it won’t be the EU (in or out), it won’t be war, it won’t be immigration, it won’t be taxes, it won’t be widespread poverty…it won’t even be terrorism per se. It will be mental health. And you should be frightened. VERY frightened. Particularly as you could be on either of the wrong ends of it.
The Twin Towers
If 9/11 (and the years since) has taught us anything, it is that there are people walking amongst us that are capable of the most appalling atrocities, atrocities maybe even they can’t at this moment imagine (although worryingly some of the really scared ones can!). More particularly these atrocities involve suicide missions.
The word “suicide” here should be a big clue as to their mental state. This may be the basis of their problems, but then it is compounded by radicalisation, particularly when talking about young people. Radicalisation rationalises their mental problems – in other words it makes their confused lives clear by telling them who is to blame and how they should be punished.
But we should have addressed this years ago. When Blair talked about “education-education-education” he wasn’t just talking about Maths and Geography. It was also about mental health education. But somehow this has got lost in the system, much to the horror of those who can see the consequences.
And those consequences are a generation of young British people growing up with little or no mental safety net in a rapidly expanding world of technology, social-intricacies and media confusion.
The News Today…
We are now seeing regular stories of wonderfully gifted young people taking their own lives during what from the outside look like minor teenage mental hiccups, but which to them are like giant mental fire-storms. Why? Because with Government cuts, they could not get mental health treatment.
We are now also seeing regular stories of wonderfully gifted young people becoming easy prey for radicalisation, as groups exploit voids in their mental health, leading them to join violent gangs or religious extremists. Why? Because with Government cuts, they could not get mental health treatment.
But of course, it’s not just the younger generation that are becoming the victims. If you keep your eyes wide open you will observe mental health victims every day. It’s like Pokémon Go, only in real life! It’s not just the recent elderly right-wing extremist killer. There’s the other end of the spectrum too. The Secret Footballer book revealed that many top footballers are on anti-depressants; remember that when you’re screaming from the terraces. When interviewing an elderly famous ex-footballer (a household name), he also revealed that recent events (he’d been made redundant) had caused him to seek help and medication (Prozac), something I didn’t expect to hear from one of my heroes.
And with no safety net, long waiting lists, and untrained staff, the growth of mental health problems in this country and the potential for the violent repercussions is the ticking time-bomb for our whole society. Want to talk about an outburst of road-rage or civil unrest, to ricin or dirty-bombs? No?
The End Of The World?
Even if you don’t suffer from mental illness yourself, you may still think it worth spending money on mental health because your fellow man/woman deserves to get the dignified and proper treatment in their time of troubles. But even if you don’t care for them, or for the mental health of young people, what you should care about is that you are surrounded by a nation of increasingly neurotic people, who are only one meal away from the type of civil unrest not seen since TV programmes like The Walking Dead. One guy not taking his “meds” could be catastrophic, as we saw in France recently. What if everyone on anti-depressants suddenly stopped taking them?? What if The Daily Mail did a scare story on Prozac?? Yes, they would be stupid enough to do that.
Now, isn’t that worth spending a few bob on, if only as a national insurance policy to ensure we don’t get hacked to death in our beds…or that we don’t wake up and find ourselves hacking everyone else to death in their beds? (Not sure which is worse there…)
Scared? You should be. This is a Pandora’s Box that cannot be easily closed. This is a genie that won’t easily squeeze back into the bottle. This is a cat that won’t be enticed back into the bag. And as for the horse, he’s bolted…and we need to go and get him back. NOW!
This politician’s death is not about the EU, ISIS or racism, it is about the chronic state of mental health in the UK. Her colleagues need to act on this, and I don’t mean adding more bodyguards, because we are ALL at risk.
Makes you think.