Do we have an inalienable right to never feel uncomfortable? Should we be required to tolerate behavior that differs from our own? How do we relate to troubled souls in distress; to people living with mental illness?
Sadly too often the police are called, which publicly embarrasses and demeans the humanity of that different individual as they are escorted out of our view and our existence. It is a challenge to the character development of each individual and its community to learn how to relate to, communicate with and support its less fortunate disabled and impaired members.
This perverse lack of empathy and compassion indicates a need for education and understanding of our equal community members. They are someone’s loved one, deserving of respect and dignity.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides free education and support programs and advocacy for people with mental illness and their families. NAMI of Southwestern Illinois can be contacted at 618-798-9788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.