My Focus is on Mental Health Care

I don’t have words to explain how I feel about the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

I feel shocked.


Outrageously angry.

I find myself asking questions that can not be answered, and I find myself crying every time I think and/or talk about this event.

While I feel strongly about the need for gun control to be reevaluated, my real focus is towards the mental health system, the field in which I am building my career.

This cartoon I recently came across accurately sums up my feelings. This is real life. And, in my opinion, this is why things like this are happening.


The sheer inability to access mental health care is astonishing. Along with that, the stigma attached to receiving mental health care is a genuine deterrent for so many people.

If you had a broken arm, you wouldn’t think twice about seeking care from a professional. So, why then, is it so stigmatized to receive help from a professional when you’re mental health is failing you?

I have no desire to blog, tweet, or log on to Facebook. My life is good, but I don’t feel good, and I’d be doing you and myself a disservice if I blogged about my daily life while feeling this way.

Come on back in a few days.


  1. says

    I cannot thank you enough for this post. You’ve summed up my sentiments perfectly. As a nation we need a multifaceted approach to violence (my opinion: mental health + gun control + education). I’m currently working at a Community Mental Health Agency and although I try to deliver the best care possible, it is not enough.

    • Colleen says

      Thanks for your supportive comment, Emily! I know exactly what you mean. I, too, try to deliver the best care possible, but it’s frustrating knowing that it’s simply not enough.

  2. says

    I completely agree with this!! Mental health is so important, violence solves nothing. Coming from strong social services perspective as well. We have very strict gun laws here in Canada. This makes me so sad. No Words!!

  3. says

    Thank you! Fortunately for me, in the geographical area(s) in which I work, mental health care is attainable for many people. My heart hurts for those that don’t have these same opportunities. Not just hurts. Aches. Thank you for this post though. It is so refreshing to see someone hit the nail on the head.

  4. says

    I agree with you, 100%. I’m watching The Today Show right now, but it’s the first time I’ve turned on the news since Friday. I work in an elementary school and it’s still feels very strange to be in that environment. It makes me realize how vulnerable we are.

  5. says

    Totally agree Colleen. While I am an advocate for stricter gun laws, the tragedies that have occured in this country cannot be blamed on one topic. It’s a combination of issues and one of the biggest is the stigma of mental health care. I think it’s a step in the right direction that we at least have people who recognize that it is in issue, now it’s time to do something about it.

  6. says

    Hi Colleen, I feel the exact same way. I couldn’t bring myself to type up a perky, happy post with all that’s been happening and going on inside my head. It just didn’t feel right. In our own time!

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