Greta Parrott Schwartz is a remarkable woman on a mission. I am very proud to call her my friend. In the last several years she has made it her mission to fight for the care of people in dire medical circumstances. On Memorial Day she is taking her fight up the New Jersey State House steps and delivering a powerful message in the process. She is not fighting for those who need heart transplants, or suffering from cancer, but those affected with mental illness. It is often silent, invisible, neglected, and is stealing the lives of hundreds of people, young, old, black, white, rich, and poor everyday. People you know and love are likely to suffer from mental illness. People I know and love suffer.
Greta has been a witness to the lack of care that has been given those with mental illness in this country. She has tirelessly pursued help for a family member and discovered the absolute impossible obstacles that it has taken to get the care they need. She has appeared before school boards, questioned one of the top hospitals in the country, and fought tooth and nail with insurance companies for herself and others in similar circumstances.
She has learned so much that is troubling when dealing with this issue and has faced roadblock after roadblock. While stumbling through this, lives are being wasted and lost. My biggest surprise was learning that Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia did not have a residential psychiatric unit.
That’s just crazy! Pun intended. Children are committing suicide at an alarming rate due to mental illness and one of the best hospitals in the country doesn’t even feel there is a need for a full treatment unit addressing children’s mental health issues. It is apparently not profitable enough. Children are checked out medically then farmed to outside clinics over which parents have no control. First bed available is the protocol, not quality of care. Wait! What?
It is time to stop the stigma.
It is time to stop the shame.
It is time for a REVOLUTION! – Greta Parrot Schwartz
Mental illness is like any other physical illness. The last time I checked, your brain is part of your body. This seems to be the connection where people get lost. There is so much unknown to this day about the human brain. It is the most amazing and fascinating organ. It is what keeps us alive. Without it, your lungs would not know to breathe in and out, your heart would not remember to pump. Beyond that, it is where all of our thought processes happen, dreams occur, ideas are born. Yet it is still connected to the physical body. It is physical.
Mental illness occurs within the brain. I cannot speak as to how it occurs, because I am not a psychiatrist nor do I have a PhD. in neuroscience. More needs to be known. Mental illness is like any other illness and needs to be treated as such. A diabetic or someone with high blood pressure needs to treat their illness everyday. Mental illness needs to be given the same attention as other illnesses and not be stigmatized, or worse, left untreated. That would save lives.
Greta is making this her mission. On Memorial Day this year Greta is walking 100 miles from near her home to the steps of the capital in Trenton, New Jersey pulling a casket. The casket represents the lives of those who have been lost because of the lack of treatment and the stigma of mental illness. She is bringing an awareness to the leaders of New Jersey, and she hopes across this nation, in the most sobering of ways.
Please follow this link to Greta’s Go Fund Me page and consider donating to this brave woman’s cause. Let’s be part of a Revolution that can really make a difference, probably with someone you know. Let’s get behind Greta and help her raise awareness with the people who can do something. We can support her with donations that will go to organizations that support mental health initiatives, or if you live in New Jersey, you can go out and cheer her on.
Here is the link directly, or use the hyperlinks in the article: https://www.gofundme.com/gretasrevolution