Guest Blogger: CJ Hanson, Mental Health/Brain Illness Advocate

One day into June, and the official #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth is over – but the fight is far from over.
Please welcome guest blogger, C.J. Hanson, with these thoughts regarding her brother who has serious brain disease.  CJ is one of the authors in Dede Ranahan’s award-winning book, Tomorrow Was Yesterday.
“I have strong opinions regarding the many different causes for the continual denial of help and easier access to real treatment for my brother since the beginning of his trauma and brain illness of Schizophrenia and Anosognosia.
We initially thought the care he needed was going to be available to him given how severe his multiple disabilities including having lost his eyes in an accident and then brain illness.
We each have our own obstacles. But, like most families – access to that elusive help – was slammed shut on us because Mark is an adult who happens to have anosognosia related to the brain illness.
CJ Hanson, Mental Health/Brain Illness Advocate

Waiting for him to figure out what is best for him.. what is safe for him… that he even has a serious mental/brain illness… will never happen.

No one can understand the respective roles that we are each left to play amidst the absolute expectation from society that we should just innately have all the answers, when we have a loved one with SMI/SBD – an expectation that we are fully capable to physically house and care for someone so floridly psychotic after he has fallen 34 years into the abyss and the tiniest of cracks of his mental illness. Our shattered and fragmented Mental Health Policy & Laws which includes abandoning the most vulnerable of those among us and their families is cruel.
Many of us are just family members struggling to be what we are not. – Medical professionals, Neuro Psychiatric professionals, Medical intervention, Legal and Financial advisor, Psychiatric Technician, Social Worker, Protector, Nurse, even Guard – day and night. Every day and night.

From what I have seen some of the top advocates for Mental Healthcare Reform are those who have paid the ultimate price already… either the loss of their loved one to suicide, abuse, injustice or just completely and forever lost in their illness.
Some family members, advocates and activists are still smack in the middle of their struggle to avoid those outcomes.
But, we are all advocates and activists – for Serious Mental/Brain Illnesses and the change towards quality of life, comfort, justice and fairness in #MentalHealthcareReform. Which means including the family members.”
~ CJ Hanson
PS – I hope that my friends, group members, and followers will visit the new Facebook page which will follow the development of the movie documentary and give us a “like,” follow it… and if you are moved – to contribute to the production and success of the documentary. Please share the link to the page on your timelines and to your friends too for the success of this important project. We will be successful with your help!

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