Friday, February 20, 2009

J.Warner is Right

I'm not always the biggest Judith Warner fan (see here), but this blog post about lack of access to mental health care for children with serious illnesses is significant and devastating. The quote:

"Their example (the one set by family in Nebraska who dropped of teens in safe haven programs so they could get care) also serves as a necessary corrective to the popular view that children being labeled mentally ill today are just spirited “Tom Sawyers” who don’t fit our society’s cookie-cutter norms, with parents who are desperate to drug them into conformity."

There's a lot to say here about how we think about illness and what's public and what's private and how to ask for help and what it means to be "OK" and how that's shaped by class and education and general expectations of life. A blog post isn't the place to say any of it (at least not for me this morning), but Warner's post got me thinking, and shining some light on the pain that children (who can't vote and so are an under-served constituency) can suffer because their families are supposed to do it all and they're supposed to grow up and out of whatever ails them seems like something important to do on a Friday morning.

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