Truths

Not Fake News

We need some good stories. Especially these days.

With Trump claiming he got the most electoral votes since Reagan, and then being contradicted immediately by a reporter who listed Obama’s stats, and George Bush’s stats when Trump tried saying “he was talking about republicans”, it’s nice to be able to talk about something much more positive than this moron.

His response to the reporter was “well, I’m just told these things, I don’t actually know”.

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Anyway, enough of that. I watched a video on the YouTube channel VICE news the other day, about a shelter for the “mentally ill” in Mexico, created by a Pastor named Jose Antonio Galvan. I was interested because the title used the word asylum, and I honestly thought they were going to talk about horrible conditions and horrible treatment of the mentally unstable in Mexico. That was my stereotype and assumption.

It was the exact opposite.

Galvan started this shelter in 1995 with the intent to provide home, care, understanding, and compassion for those living on the street who struggle mentally either because of drug induced illness (something like meth psychosis for example) or not. He himself has a history of such things, including an incident which he talks about in the video: seeing hallucinations telling him to attack a preacher on the street who was spewing the word of God. He attacked the preacher with a bottle, cut the preacher’s forehead, and the preacher placed his hand on his head and prayed for him. That was a defining moment for Galvan.

Their government isn’t the most stable. Everyone and their mother knows the country is controlled more so by drug cartels than actual political officials. There’s not a lot of funding or wealth, or solid community structures. Galvan does point out, however, that everyone else gets some kind of care: except those struggling mentally. So he decided to change that. He said only those who had been through such things could understand. He said at Vision En Accion (Vision In Action) the point was to treat humans like humans, to have compassion for those struggling after having been through similar struggle yourself.

Peer support; that’s what he’s doing. Can you imagine how excited I got? You all know me. I found their Facebook page and their website.  Click them. It’s good to read stories like these today.

Now, the landscape, the available services, the healthcare, it’s all different over there where Galvan is compared to us here in the U.S, so they still use terms like asylums and they don’t have proper housing for people who are particularly violent. They’re kept in rooms with bars according to the video. That’s not preferable, but this man and his team are doing more for those citizens than anyone else probably ever has. They don’t treat them poorly behind the bars, they at least get good food and can stay clean and get compassionate support mentally . . . they just kinda, you know, gotta stay in a cage. Like I said, not preferable.

But when you think about it, it’s not much different from isolation in hospitals over here. So get off your high horse and let’s not be so quick to judge. Just because we paint our bars a nice pretty white, call it a door, and decorate the halls with “trained and educated professionals” doesn’t mean a thing. Remember, America is notorious for embellishing shit to make it look like blooming roses.

If you have a passion, if you have an idea, don’t worry the idea into extinction about how you’re going to do it, what you need to do it, or if it would even work. Just do it. That’s how organizations get started, that’s how lives are changed. At one point in my life, I would love to volunteer here and include Vision En Accion in the growing spectrum of compassionate healthcare.

About AlishiaDee (372 Articles)
Alishia D. is a blogger, a beginning novelist, and a counselor at 2nd Story Peer Respite house where diagnostic labels and the culture of mental health is long forgotten. She's a mental health peer who has bounced through as many labels as she has doctors, and enjoys being sarcastic when she can. She also hates writing in 3rd person.

3 Comments on Not Fake News

  1. Duuuuuude Nikki and I watched that exact video last night on YouTube.

    Liked by 1 person

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