Bedlam US Prisons as Mental Asylums | Car Free Cities | Let’s Build Bridges, Not Walls

I was in tears as I listened to this.

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/12/27/bedlam_documentary_mental_health_criminal_justice

Seeing images of people from the 1930’s through to the present of wasted bodies, limp and diminished spirits, people emotionally wasted, like zoo animals surrounded by concrete. I was moved to hear the producer talk of the difficulty of putting this out to the public, because of the ‘shame’ he and his family and many other families felt because of the tarnished interpretation of emotional, mental health disorders. 

What this discloses is that many, many of the homeless people in the streets of the USA and in the prison system, are there because of their own mental health issues. and that in fact when dumped into this environment in which there are no programs to rehabilitate and create a nurturing environment towards their improvement, they are instead institutionalized.

Thing is, there are some who declare that institutions are the problem, and that all people should have the ‘right’ to not go into an institution. However, as I discovered when I saw a double amputee – probably Vietnam Veteran – fall from his wheel chair in San Francisco, which was already on the rise to being one of the most expensive cities in the country, with a huge abscess the size of a basketball in his back. I had been bicycling by on Market street, and saw this aghast, wondering how this could possibly happen right next to so much wealth. One person informed me that the Reagan era ‘reformed’ things in a way as to declare that people have the right to ‘freedom’. Yet what if they really don’t have the faculties to make the best decisions for themselves? It provoked me to write an article Cultural Abscess. However because recently my computer ceased, I temporarily don’t have access to the HD. 

Many people could be rejuvenated or at least have a much better quality of life and feeling, if they were living in a caring environment among kind people, and not criminalized because of their decision impairment. I feel that this is a very important documentary to expose these truths and re align our values. Just as climate and war refugees whose lives are fragmented and who must flee their homeland, should be fully embraced and helped, since the northern hemisphere wealthy western countries who have been living phat and comfortable lives as our consumption of energy for our material comforts and energy and transportation needs, have been literally wiping out habitats, killing species of birds, insects and animals at an alarming rate – as much due to habitat loss as global warming. The citizens of the world must be informed of how their habits have affected wildlife and the natural world internationally, and come together to work together in an unprecedented manner, and do everything that we can to help the stream of refugees which will be increasing dramatically as they lose their homes.

I bring these topics together, because I believe that many physical and emotional illnesses are contextual. I believe that if people have a comfort and security and models of kindness and caring around them, they will develop habits that improve their own health and attitude, which will naturally ripple to extending their caring and kindness to others.

Health, car free, health care, kindness, caring, build bridges not walls, empathy, caring, quality of life, emotional and physical health contextual

Health, car free, health care, kindness, caring, build bridges not walls, empathy, caring, quality of life, emotional and physical health contextual

 

Already there are dozens of cities around the world where there are no cars. Regardless of the terrain and topography, any environment or city could be dramatically improved and beautified by clearing out the cars and planting more trees and gardens.

https://www.hotcars.com/20-cities-in-the-world-where-there-are-no-cars/

Dozens more major European cities who have designated ‘no car days’; establishing the city center as pedestrian only. 

https://www.businessinsider.com/cities-going-car-free-ban-2018-12#in-paris-the-first-sunday-of-every-month-is-free-of-cars-2

My sister who is presently in Nice, informed me that the city extended their tram system which was already quite extensive, with a multitude of inexpensive public transportation options, has now eliminated benching buses. We could be subsidizing train and clean energy and public transportation to lure people out of their cars and create jobs to massively produce clean sustainable energy and transportation. It could become hip and fun to take the train, as well as affordable. If people could own and be part of the transition into clean energy, improving the quality of the air and water and life, they could circulate the money back into the community and feel directly involved in maintaining this as a right, as well as protecting public lands and waterways and natural habitats. Train and safe infrastructure for pedestrian and bicycle transportation could increasingly transform public spaces into beautiful ones that draw people to congregate and interact in public places with one another. The community of people could at the same time choose to design with thoughtfulness about other creatures: insects, pollinators, birds and mammals, to live with them and allow them to live. 

What would you choose? A job with excellent pay (such as new highway, new bank or box store, nuclear power plant, fracking, oil drilling or pipeline or massive agricultural spread…) that will destroy a beautiful place and wildlife habitat, 

just to get that promise of good pay?

Pretending somehow that the money is the essential thing, the GDP and one’s paycheck more important than anything else? 

Indigenous native Americans historically thought hard before making any decisions about how it may impact the NEXT SEVEN (7) GENERATIONS.

Or will you recognize that more destruction and dismantling and razing of nature, or purchase that involves destroying nature on the other side of the globe, is your responsibility, and see that there is and can be a completely different approach to what is considered progress, that values nature above everything, and will utilize your best effort and skills and allow you to do what you love and work together with others in revitalizing nature and empowering you and your sense of community at the same time? 

These are choices we all need to make. Yet it’s very difficult if people are completely blinded by the incentive to make another buck.

We can choose to educate ourselves, listen to scientists and knowledgeable people who know that there is a better way, and as we talk with one another and support one another in our awareness, we can make these changes. 

It is our choice. Helping to support all life and empowering other life with respect and love, while empowering one’s own spirit with the joy of empathy, or somehow only considering oneself and one’s immediate family, and not giving a fuck about anyone or any creature outside of your own immediate walls. 

Let’s build bridges, not walls, in every respect.

About carolkeiter
Aspiring writer, artist, musician and composer who was born and raised in the United States and has resided in several European countries. Communication is my forte; both through using various tools and in approaching people of divers backgrounds to gather information. Speak conversational - advanced intermediate - French, German and Spanish. Love interacting with people in cultural centers as much as going to remote places to learn more about the different creatures that share our planet. Love of the outdoors and of a variety of outdoor sports. Driven to learn and expand my own consciousness and understanding through curiosity and love of life. Creative skills merge with analytical ones, leading to an interest in a myriad of topics; ranging from politics, economics, science to environmental. Motivated to use my art, music and writing to support and educate people towards humane practices that support and respect all of life, including practices supporting a healthy planet.

One Response to Bedlam US Prisons as Mental Asylums | Car Free Cities | Let’s Build Bridges, Not Walls

  1. Loren Booda says:

    Psychiatry “survivors” and Scientology line up against doctors like E. Fuller Torrey and NAMI, the latter advocating for forced treatment when “necessary.” It’s a no-win situation, but we can do better than locking a vulnerable, suicidal person in solitary confinement, where any of us would go crazy. The criminal justice system is the dead-end for those “noncompliant” with severe mental illness treatment and no money. However, the First Amendment often affords one a space in a cardboard box.

    With the below-poverty wage of SSI, one cannot afford a room anywhere in the country. If you have a roomate, you will be penalized. The traditional (cheap) meds can have side effects about as bad as the illnesses they “treat.” People with mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of violence than to be perpetrators. A homeless woman from teenage on will most likely be raped, although mental institutions are not much better. The homeless live, on average, 50 years vs. 78 years for the rest of us. 10-15% of those with schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder commit suicide.

    Psychoses, affective disorders and other psychiatric diseases are no-fault: they are mostly genetic, developmental and/or worsened from drug abuse. One out of five Americans will suffer from these diseases during their lifetime. Five of the ten most destructive diseases worldwide are mental illnesses. Stigma against mental illnesses in human history rivals slavery, and both are often closely linked.

    Ironically, the brain itself is expected to analyse its own psychiatric needs.

    Aside: I believe that in the Netherlands it is “legal” to have assisted suicide for a mental illness!

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