Mental Health is Not a JOKE!

Mental Health is Not a JOKE!

I’m on a role two blog post in one week! Go me! After having a rough start this week, I was inspired by Mr. Matthew Lothian blog post about Youth in Politics. I would definitely recommend going and checking out his blog post. I commend him and his school during internship about the political debate they held in their riding (Cypress Hills-Grassland) where they got all four political candidates to come to the school for the evening. But this isn’t what sparked my interest. It was actually what he quoted from U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders that made me decide to write a blog post instead of a comment. Now if anyone has been following the American Election or have been on any sort of social media site in the last couple of months of months you would know that as Mr. Lothian put oh so nicely,

The constant jarring and insults being thrown back and forth among the GOP candidates has been disgraceful. [It} …  resembles something that you may commonly see on a playground  amongst children.  Name calling, jokes on each other’s appearances, and inappropriate sexual genitalia innuendo digs.

At one point in a GOP debate, a “CNN’s closed captioner [was so] fed up with tonight’s GOP debate and doesn’t care who knows it” when they captioned this:

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 10.06.15 AM

Watch this hilarious video that someone created of their yelling match.

See when I first heard that Donald Trump was running for the election, I honestly thought it was a joke. Like a serious joke. But now it’s terrifying. One of our professors, Katia Hildebrandt wrote a blog post about why “Trump isn’t funny anymore. So why are we still silent?” She makes some great points and you should go read it. Honestly, as you can see from the video above Trump does NOTHING but talk over others. Obviously, when that happens you don’t get to hear both sides. He is also a sexist, racist (threats and making crowd members raise right hand) But I am getting off track, if you want to read more of Trumps horrible things, check out Katia post.
Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 10.26.37 AM

What I want to talk about is Bernie Sanders.  Earlier this month in a debate Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton were discussing the GOP. Hilary has some negative comments and Bernie decides to respond with:

“You know, we are, if elected president, going to invest a lot of money into mental health, and when you watch these Republican debates, you know why we need to invest in that.”

It’s supposed to be a joke. I get it. Sort of. But I don’t find it funny. And neither did Twitter. Shortly after the debate, Bernie got some heat from Tweeters about how mental health is not a joke.

You can check out these articles here and here for more tweets.  There has been so much work with ending the stigma around mental health and to call the behaviour of GOP candidates is unbelievable rude, cruel and downright unacceptable. #BellLetsTalk is an awesome organization that helps to end the stigma around mental health. Even in our own community, we were able to come together and raise awareness. Check out our storify story here.

I personally think that Bernie Sanders comment was unnecessary. You not only took a stab the GOP candidates you also took a stab at every single person who is suffering from a mental illness, their family, and friends.

What are your thoughts on Bernie Sanders comment? Did he go to far or should every accept a joke?  I would love to hear all of your thoughts. 

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3 thoughts on “Mental Health is Not a JOKE!

  1. Thanks for the engaging article Brea! Loved the “Unintelligible Yelling” and hunger games snapshots. The republican race is truly something else… It’s strange to think that our own election a few months ago was regarded as overly long and divisive. Then you look at the republican race and it makes Canada’s party leaders look pretty civilized and cordial, as if they were from a cartoon show about the happiest place on earth. Even when Steven Harper lost he the election he congratulated Trudeau stating that “the people are never wrong”. I can only imagine what Trump will say about the American people in his concession speech if and when they choose someone else as their president.

    I agree Bernie’s comments are problematic, and it’s a good thing that people were quick to point that out on twitter. Stating that the deterioration of the Republican rhetoric was indicative of mental health issues was more insulting to the stories of people who live with Mental Health issues than it was to the candidates. He intended to take shots at the republican behaviour and people affected by mental health issues took collateral damage in the cross fire. Not okay. That being said, I think Bernie’s comment was more of a verbal misstep than a reflection of what he actually believes about mental health, though I don’t know for sure. Privilege can make us deaf to the problematic aspects of the things that come out of our mouth. It’s unintentional but still needs to be corrected and dealt with, which is why its so important that people who live with mental health issues are given a voice and platform to lead us in shaping the paradigm around mental health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment, sorry for the late reply. I hope that Bernie Sanders comment was not a true reflection of what he actually means but a horrible joke gone wrong. With that being said I hoped he would have apologized for his actions. As a teacher, I understand that sometimes in the heat of the moment (and I do believe it was in the heat of the moment) that sometimes we say things that we don’t really mean. But we do have to be responsible for our actions and take responsibility for the potential consequences. Everyone makes mistakes but we only truly learn from them if we acknowledge what went wrong and try to make our wrong better.

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