The other day, travelling from an unfamiliar part of town back home through heavy traffic, I decided to just let Google Maps call the shots. I could have navigated myself, just using major routes that went towards areas I knew, but I decided to see what Google Maps did for me.
It took me on a rather interesting journey.
“Left” and “Right” are two of the most commonly used political designations in this, or indeed in any, country. And you know, they actually used to mean something once. Back in revolutionary France, the “left” was opposed to the monarchy, and the “right” were supportive of its traditional structures.
In the years since then, “left” and “right” as political terms have come to mean a lot of different things. What they have come to mean in practical terms, however, is either a mark of the political naiveté of the speaker, or are used as terms of opprobrium. In actual practical political terms, they’re now effectively meaningless.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I care for two disabled people, 24x7x365. That’s way fuller than full-time. That’s all the time, and I do other things where I can. Over the years, I’ve had plenty of exposure to people with mental health problems, as well as many GPs and mental health professionals in Victoria.
Now, unlike those professionals, I’ve had no training, nor do I carry any qualification. I just have to keep getting things right in good times, in bad times and during crises, when they occur. Time after time. I’ve had extensive opportunities to compare and contrast how I deal with people who have mental health problems against how the professionals do it.
And I can tell you right now, that at least seven out of ten professionals in Victoria’s Mental Health industry are no better at dealing with a symptomatic patient than any random Jane or Joe off the street.
I kid you not.
The piece that I’m about to reproduce here first appeared in The Age newspaper, on 9 May, 1956. In it, a fiendish danger to society and our youth is laid bare. I’ve left the original article emphasis in place.