Nate brings you the latest in blasphemous comedy in “Make Religion Great Again.”
Today we have a serious problem with community mental health services. I am speaking of non-profit mental health organizations who treat mental health patients with a mindset of a factory manager. This is beneficial if you are Ford Motors not to treat people with serious diseases. But that is exactly what is taking place.
Our health care system is not motivated by patient care rather it is a money motivated system ran by chief financial officers who are not practitioners. Most mental health practitioners within community mental health centers care for their patients. They have spent at the minimum 6 years of formal education 2 years of graduate work involving internships and supervision. Providers need another 2 years under direct supervision before receiving a independent license.
We always hear of the burn out rate with mental health care counselors. Why is this? I have first hand knowledge of this field, so I will explain why burnout takes place. A new graduate of a master’s program in mental health takes a job at a mental health care facility with a mission to help people. They know the pay is not great, the job is a public service. Yet to receive a full license to practice you need 2 years of supervision. Mental health care facilities take advantage of this necessity. They can bring on fresh graduates and pay them under market rates because they know that they need the supervision.
The day in the life of a therapist who work at community mental health care facilities is that of a production line. They even call it “productivity.” In an 8 hour shift the therapist is scheduled with 10 clients who will see the therapist for 45-minute sessions. That is seeing people back to back without a break. These therapists are lucky to get a lunch and employers can get away with it because they are salary. Of course, they try to account for cancellations. God forbid that the therapist can get caught up on paperwork. Patient care which is touted as the highest of goals is the last thing the leadership, if they like it or not cares about.
Patients are not getting adequate care because they are seeing burnt out therapist who are trying there best to survive in a system that is money driven. Ask anyone who has ever worked in community mental health; the work load verses compensation is greatly unbalanced. Yet these warriors will continue for the love of their patients even if they become patients themselves.
It is time for a change in community mental health services. People need quality mental health services, and this will not happen when the providers are burnt out. Counselors can’t wait till they can land a job outside of the non-profit world. I understand that these organizations need money to survive, the problem is much deeper than the organizations. The major problem involves lack of funding and support for mental health in general.
How do we fix this problem? We need to find a way to place patient care above money. We need to give mental health counselors a break between patients to decompress from intense sessions which takes a toll on the provider. Mental health organizations should not be running like a factory.
Mental Heal Crisis!
The United States has a serious mental health crisis and within this crisis is the ones who provide the counseling services. Without change we will not be able to better help those who spent years of their lives to learn to serve those in need. Our mental health care providers are heroes who go into the worst of the worst scenarios with patients. These unsung heroes deserve a life. They deserve adequate pay without the slave labor.
I know my answer to the problem will not be beneficial because there is not enough funding for this change. I propose that a counselor see only 5 patients per day. Providers should be required to take breaks and lunches. Providers should receive adequate pay for the services they provide. Counselors should never have to do paperwork at home. Seems simple, but if this was put in place the community mental health centers would close their doors for lack of funds. How do we fix this problem?
Many people forget that Jesus as a child was a immigrant whos family fled to another country for fear of death. Today we face an immigration problem in the United States except the real problem is not the immigrants it is our response particularly the response of the church. The culture of Jesus should be accepting and, open to all people. Jesus said “For what you have done to the least of these, you have done to me.” We have forgotten the words of Jesus and have created an idol that is called the United States.
Can you be pro-life and pro-choice? Maybe not, although the definition is not always black and white. At The Backyard Preacher Ministries, we are pro-choice, but in every way possible our pro-choice stance could be looked upon as pro-life. I took it upon myself to clarify my stance and write about abortion from a progressive Christian perspective. I find it particularly ripe to bring about this topic, once again here in the state of Iowa the powers that be, governor Kim Reynolds took it upon herself to sign a very quickly pushed law spear headed by religious zealots without consideration of the ramifications. My friend Jon Alexander of the Quad City Times writes a more in-depth editorial here.
My purpose is to enlighten and explain the matter of life from a Christian perspective. A rational Christian perspective, which has long since been abandoned by Evangelicals in the United States. Do I like abortion? No, I do not like the act of abortion. After talking to several women and listening to views from both sides of the debate women do not like abortion either. I will also not overstep my bounds as a man and claim to know what is best. As a Christian do I believe that abortion is murder? Truthfully, I do not know. There is something called the transmigration of souls, this is a belief which the early church and religious scholars have wrestled with. When does the soul of a person enter the fetus? Many Evangelicals would say that life starts at conception. While biologically this is true life does start at conception; that is cells are alive. The question that more Evangelicals should ask is when do those cells become a human, and when does the spirit of a person, “their true self” enter into a fetus? No one knows, and when you do not know something, it is wise not to demand. While I do not support abortion, I would prefer that women choose life, but I am not walking in their shoes, I do not know their situation, and will not speak for them. There are many complications that will come about from the new Iowa law. Alexander speaks to the financial, I am speaking more to the social. Will this result in women going out of state to have abortions? Will women have “back alley” abortions? Will women carry the baby even when they cannot afford another child pushing women and the new child into a greater cycle of poverty? I do not know, but these are things to think about.
As I said I am pro-life, in every sense. I am against the death penalty, against war, I support strong gun control. I desire for people to prosper and live life to the fullest. It amazes me that Evangelicals who have pushed the abortion law in Iowa have no problem sending young people to die in senseless wars, strap people into death chambers, and arm themselves with weapons of war which are responsible for children killing children in public schools. I want to remind my Evangelical friends that we do not know when the spirit enters the fetus, we do however know that existing people are alive in every way. There is also the cycle of poverty which is prevalent within the United States. The church conducts overseas mission’s trips but often neglects the people who live within their own borders. In the wealthiest country in the world many condemn the poor as weak and lazy, yet do nothing for them but call them murderers and fornicators. Women have abortions which more than likely would be prevented if she was financially capable of raising the child. The whole situation is sad. I preach life, a life in which all people have choice. I nor any other Christian knows when the spirit of a person enters a fetus. I nor any other Christian can walk in another’s shoes. The new abortion bill makes abortion essentially illegal before most women even know they are pregnant. Let me let you chew on these concluding thoughts.
Evangelicals stop worrying what a small percentage of women do with their bodies. If you want to stop abortion push laws that will lift people out of poverty. Pass laws providing affordable education, so people can find jobs which will pay for a family. Let us start teaching sex education not only in school but in our churches. Thinking that our kids are not having sex before marriage is absurd and not teaching about safe sex practices leads to possible abortions. Pass laws restricting weapons of war in the hands of citizens, I do not think that it is responsible to be able to possess the same weapons I used in the military, which only purpose was to kill another human. Speaking of the military let us stop getting into senseless conflicts and supporting the death of our children. I know that this message may not be popular with my Evangelical friends, yet it is a message which I felt compelled to bring as I have observed the recent cries of the people on both sides of this debate. Can we be both pro-life, and pro-choice? Maybe? I do not know, but what I do know is it is more important to protect the lives of the already born, this includes the women who choose abortion.
Picture Credit: Nick Anderson
In the wake of the Charlottesville, VA tragedy Nate takes a look at the hate behind why white people do what they do in this country.