Here are some statistics I believe most of the people do not know. I did not.

In America, people with mental illness die on average 25 years (TWENTY-FIVE YEARS) earlier than average Americans. (1)

TWO MILLION Americans live with the illness of schizophrenia, but only a third of these individuals receive treatment.

Disproportionate number of people with mental illness is in the criminal justice system often as a result of untreated or under treated mental illness.

American jails and prisons are now the largest psychiatric wards in the nation, housing well over 350 000 inmates with mental illness.

All together there are FIFTEEN MILLION people with mental illness, FIVE MILLION of them unemployed,

almost TEN MILLION of them never married, and

SEVEN MILLION of them detained for minor offenses. (2)

ONE OUT OF TEN children or youth experience a mental health condition severe enough to cause significant impairment in their day-to-day life.  TEN PERCENT!!!! Drop out of school; become entangled with juvenile justice system, or DIE BY SUICIDE.

Mental disorders, signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, affect ONE IN FIVE, (20%!!!!!) of active duty service members.

One active duty soldier is taking his or her life EVERY THIRTY-SIX HOURS, and one veteran EVERY 80 MINUTES. (3)

To me this is shocking.  To me this should be one of the focuses for America to pay attention to. Instead, funds to deal with this grave condition are shrinking and the budget for military spending is increasing.

What does it mean to be GREAT AGAIN?

More nuclear weapons? More military spending?

To spend more money on military might we refuse to use.

America has no stomach for more wars. It hardly can stand Iraq and the quagmire of Afghanistan.  So, what is all this increase in military might for?

It is not to make AMERICA great again. It is to make the military industrial complex great again.

I remember when the Berlin wall was taken down. I was consulting to an arms producing company. They got panicky. The market will disappear. We need an enemy. All the time. Without an enemy, there is no business.

Why are we so worried about Russia? Who exactly is worried?

Not the cultural world. Not the educational world. I suggest it is the business world worrying on losing markets. Losing sales. Losing profits.

The enemy is not Russia. Not even China. The enemy is inside us. Not taking care of our people. Sick. Unemployed or unemployable. Without health insurance. Families falling apart.  Educational system, short of a few universities of world caliber, below par.

We are sick. And how do we want to be great again?  By being more armed or by taking better care of our society?

There is a greater chance we will fall apart as a caring society than the Russians declaring war on America.

Why increase the budget for military might when we have no intention of going to war, when no one is threatening our borders.

What does it mean to be great?

And the word “again” bothers me. Are we going backward or forward?

Back to coal for energy?  Back to a manufacturing economy although labor costs are lower abroad and the people more productive than here.

Back to protectionism that is going to push prices of our products higher and cause more people to live below poverty line?

How great is that?

To me, great means to be healthy, mentally, socially, physically, spiritually, economically….not how strong we are but how healthy we are.

Just thinking,

Ichak Kalderon Adizes

  • National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors 2006
  • NAMI National Survey findings
  • NAMI Parity for Patriots Report 2012