Friday, October 4, 2013

Who was Miriam Carey?

I saw the footage. The frantic car chase, the chaos on the capital. I thought with many other viewers what is going on again in DC? But then my paradigm shifted. She was not a terroist. She was not a disgruntled citizen effected by the furlough. She was a sick mom suffering from postpartum depression.
Wow, enough is enough. Mental health is an issue that must be addressed. Their must be a new more detailed protocol when a love ones seeks help for their family/friend member who is mentally ill. Their must be new resources. Better records need to be kept and more folks need to be notified immediately.

 I graduated with a bachelor degree in psychology and had the pleasure of working for the county mental health department in 2 states for over 7 years. My clients had ranges of mental health issues from schizophrenia to depression. My most memorable client was almost 70 years old. She was a beautiful, tall, strong and proud African American woman. Her home was immaculate. I enjoyed my home visit with her. She was compliant with her medication and had a great supportive family. One day I came for a scheduled visit. She did not answer the door. This had never happened with her visits. I called and hung around before I left. I told my supervisor and noted this visit in my chart. I attempted phone calls to her children and to my clients. Before the week was up her son called me. "My mother is dead. She shot herself". That moment took my breath away. You see even thou I had other clients that had died over the years from health issues. She was the 1st one to kill herself. This woman had the diagnosis of unresolved postpartum deppression. Her son ended the call with my mom continued to suffer with postpartum depression even thou my sister (the clients youngest child) was over 40 years old.

My hearts and prayers go to the family of Miriam Carey, to her baby girl and to those closets to her. Miriam appears to have been a beautiful woman, mother, worker with a mental health issue that handicapped her moment. But defined our moment and given many of us a new voice and direction.
We can change and better the needs of many effected with mental health illness. The time to begin is today!