Politics, Millennials, why the country hates us.

Politics and millennials
Millennials are politically active.

Politics. We all either love politics, or we hate politics. I feel like I am in the latter of the two. Hating them does not mean I am not politically active though. To the contrary, I have been active since 2015. That year, I began to care about what happened to others besides myself. I wanted to help and to do that I had to develop an political identity. 

Why do I need to talk about politics?

The reason I have to has to do with social and civil justice. Which, according to some people is a problem, but according to others is not a problem at all. I got that perspective from my interactions with other people. It is an opinion, my opinion, and I understand that some of you will disagree with me. You have the right to feel that way, but I believe it is a problem. It just came to my attention two years ago.

Yes, I know I will hear the usual, “Your being brainwashed in a liberal leaning college.” That is not the case though. I am not going to go into my personal feelings. The issue does not involve just me. It involves everyone in the millennial generation. My generation, at least my age group, is political to a fault. We get too much into it. Again, an opinion, but let me make one thing clear, we have that right. Everyone has that right. To dismiss our right to believe what we want to believe in because we were born between 1984 and 2004 is ridiculous. 

Social Injustices

Whether it is racial, accessibility, religious or anything else we as a country need to start opening our eyes to it. It happens all the time. It seems that not enough people care though. The people who do seem to care are millennials. That is what I see on the news. I do not see many older people putting forth the effort to help. Not to say that there are not any, they are some. If you need advocacy help please go to our advocacy page.

The social injustice that millennials get recently has been the term, “snowflake.” I feel that this designation is derogatory and has taken on a bad reputation. What a “snowflake” cares about is this. Wanting racial and ethnic policies to become more open and accepting, people with disabilities having affordable access to everything that those who are not do, and for politicians to do what they say they are going to do. They need to do what is best for the country, and I do not see that. 

A snowflake is something beautiful that comes during snow. Not someone who thinks others should have the same rights they do. The Atlantic analyzed why millennials are leaning left and they have some valid points in their article. Note that this article was before the 2016 Presidential election.

What can you do about it? Acceptance.

I believe that a lot of people care, but they do nothing about it. Volunteer, go out and vote, be an active citizen. All of those things help. This country is at a crossroads right now, and the way we handle ourselves in the coming year will determine our success. Mutual respect should be something that shouldn’t be asked for. Next time I will be looking at how depression is affecting millennials and why it affects our jobs.

 

Millennials, Why the country hates us Part 1

I have heard many times that millennials are the worst generation ever. Needing to understand why people say that inspired me to write this blog post. Proving millennial hating is just a trend is also a goal. I may not meet this goal, but I think it is worth a try. By convincing myself, I may convince others as well. Yes, I agree with the sentiment about the generation in question. Hopping on board the bandwagon of hating my generation, I think it is time for some soul searching.

What is a millennial?

The media created the sensationalism about it. The Federal Census Bureau recognized the term in the last couple years. This is from what I read on the Bureau website. While I was on the website I found a lot about millennials, but not much before 2010. I may be wrong on that account, but the fact that I had trouble finding anything existing before 2010 makes my point for me. To me, a millennial is a person born between 1984 and 2004. This is the technical, if that really exists, definition.

According to opinion pieces on various websites including The Wire, The Washington Post, The New York Post, and Buzzfeed, millennials are destroying the country. Ignoring the obvious over-exaggeration of that, millennials are doing their best in an economy and country that seems to hate them. I read an article on Brietbart.The article titled, “7 Reasons Millennials are the Worst Generation,” made little sense to me. I did however read similar things on less controversial websites. Such as millennials cannot handle money, we are not politically active, laziness, and we are self confident. I want to take some time to consider each of these.

Money

I am going to go straight to my thoughts on this one. In college I scrap by while living on disability. I make $500 a month and I am too afraid, at the moment, to get a part time job. This is due to the stress levels that are common with jobs like that. Fast food or retail for instance. I live with my parents and I am 26, which is another complaint that I often read while doing research for this article.

Lets looks at inflation though. Say I wanted to go to college and it is 1950, and I wanted to go to the University of Pennsylvania. It would cost me $1365 to attend. This is including textbooks and room and board. Today, according to inflation, that is $13,593.76. Now, let’s see how much it costs to attend for one semester at Penn in 2017. The total cost is $44,772 in according to an inflation calculator. $44,722 in 1950 is equal to $447,719.99 in 2017. $447,719.99 minus $13,593.76 is $434,125.24. Following that line of thought, it would cost me $434,125.24 more to attend Penn if the value of a dollar was the same as 1950.

What I see from that is that a college student is expected to have a little bit less than what was equal to a half a million dollars to attend school. At least that is what someone who attended in 1950 might think. That is a bit unfair, is it not? The wage that someone with a part-time job is around $7.25 an hour. Which is $290.00 on a 40 hour work week and is $15,080 a year. Am I missing something here? I am bad at math, but I can see that there is a major difference between 1950 and 2017 money-wise. 

Final Thoughts and The Next Blog Post!

I know that it seems like I am complaining and you have a right to that opinion, but to say that millennials cannot handle money is a misrepresentation of the issue. We can handle money and we are doing our best. The influencers on us as a generation need to take some credit too. When I see an article asking if $30,000 is too much to spend on wine on the Wall Street journal, you start to think a little about being fiscally responsible. In the next post, I will be looking at the notion that millennials are not active in politics.

 

 

Autism the points you need to know. Part 3 The Obsession

I love Star Wars. Some say to a fault. I know it is an obsession, but it doesn’t bother me. It helps me in my mind. Star Wars has been in my life since I was five when I fist watched Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. (I started with the best!) Star Wars stuck with me because of the unknown that is in in Star Wars. That is my easy explanation for why I obsess over Star Wars. I do not know why people with autism have a specific thing that they become obsessed with, but I have observed everyone that I know with autism has something. 

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Autism the points you need to know. Part 2: Routine

I have a routine. If my routine is messed up, I get a little upset, but I get through it.  The way that I learned to get out of routine and do more impulsive things was support groups while I was at Philhaven. They helped me out a lot. This is all while I was in inpatient though. I had direct contact with the support groups and they were easy to go to. There are support groups outside of inpatient though. Mental Health America of Lancaster county has a lot of links to support groups and information on where to find them. Here is the link.

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Autism, The Basics

Autism Sign

Autism is affecting more and more people every day.

 

By Nick Hughes, Intern

With this post, I was going to go over autism spectrum disorders. Rather then do that though, I have decided to break it up into two different posts. Today I am going to cover the basic symptoms of autism. 

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Hello, I am the new intern for Mental Health America

Nick Hughes, mental health advocate

Nick Hughes, the new intern

 

Hello everybody, my name is Nick Hughes. I am the new intern for Mental Health America of Lancaster County (MHALC). I have started here this week and I am very excited to be on board!

A little history about myself seems like the best route to go right now, so let’s get to it. I was born on March 14, 1992 in Lancaster. I have lived in Lancaster in the 25 years since.

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13 Reasons Why: Talking Points

By Kaitlin Specht, Marketing Coordinator

See our Executive Director, Scooter Haase, on WGAL to address the controversy on 13 Reasons Why: View the video here.

’13 Reasons Why’ recently came out on Netflix at the end of March, and we have been reading and hearing a lot of controversy around the show. The story follows Hannah Baker who dies by suicide and leaves behind thirteen tapes explaining the thirteen reasons why she took her life. On each tape, she designates a person in her life that she believed was the cause in her decision to complete suicide. As the show progresses, we also see situations pop up that Hannah experiences like bullying, mental illness and sexual assault – all of which are still prevalent in today’s youth.

Discussions from mental health professionals, mental health advocates, parents and teens, all range from good and bad perspectives of the show. The good news: it’s creating those conversations, which is bringing awareness to the importance of suicide prevention in both youth and adults. It’s having those conversations and understanding what others are going through, if they’ve been like Hannah Baker, or maybe just coming to the self-realization to be more mindful of how to treat others.

There has been more concern in parents and in schools because this show seems to target more of a younger audience. Statements have been made that, for people watching the show, it could make the other party feel like it would be okay to “take their life in an attempt at revenge”, as we’ve seen from Hannah in the show, and how it “glorifies suicide”. One thing we can verify is that it can be a trigger for those who are recovering from hurting themselves, or are already at high risk, in which case, those individuals should not watch the show in those states of mind. We do urge parents that have children to ask them if they have or are interested in watching the show, and if so, volunteer to watch it with them. This will help in answering questions their children may have about the show, and allow an open and honest atmosphere to answer questions and provide them with resources.

Below are some talking points provided by the Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative, SAVE and the Jed Foundation that you can share with those watching the show. For accurate and up-to-date warning signs for youth suicide, please visit www.youthsuicidewarningsigns.org.

13 Reasons Why: Talking Points

• 13 Reasons Why (13RW) is a fictional story based on a widely known novel and is meant to be a cautionary tale.

• You may have similar experiences and thoughts as some of the characters in 13RW. People often identify with characters they see on TV or in movies. However, it is important to remember that there are healthy ways to cope with the topics covered in 13RW and acting on suicidal thoughts is not one of them.

• If you have watched the show and feel like you need support or to talk to, please reach out. Talk with a friend, family member, a counselor or therapist. There is always someone who will listen.

• Suicide is not a common response to life’s challenges or adversity. The vast majority of people who experience bullying, the death of a friend, or any other adversity described in 13RW do not die by suicide. In fact, most reach out, talk to others, and seek help or find other productive ways of coping. They go on to lead healthy, well-adjusted lives.

• Suicide is never a heroic or romantic act. Hannah’s suicide (although fictional) is a cautionary tale, not meant to appear heroic and should be viewed as a tragedy.

• It is important to know that, in spite of the portrayal of a serious treatment failure in 13RW, there are many treatment options for life’s challenges, distresses, and mental illness. Treatment works.

• Suicide affects everyone and everyone can do something to help if they see or hear warning signs that someone is at risk of suicide.

• Talking openly and honestly about emotional distress and suicide is okay. It will not make someone more suicidal or put the idea of suicide in their mind. If you are concerned about someone, ask them about it.

• Knowing how to acknowledge and respond to someone who shares their thoughts of emotional distress or suicide with you is important. Don’t judge them or their thoughts. Listen. Be caring and kind. Offer to stay with them. Offer to go with them to get help or to contact a crisis line, text, or chat service.

• How the guidance counselor in 13RW responds to Hannah’s thoughts of suicide is not appropriate and not typical of most counselors. School counselors are professionals and a trustworthy source for help. If your experience with a school counselor is unhelpful, seek other sources of support such as a crisis line, text, or chat service.

• While not everyone will know what to say or have a helpful reaction, there are people who do, so keep trying to find someone who will help you. If someone tells you they are suicidal, take them seriously and get help.

• When you die you do not get to make a movie or talk to people any more. Leaving messages from beyond the grave is a dramatization produced in Hollywood and is not possible in real life.

• Memorializing someone who died by suicide is not a recommended practice. Decorating someone’s locker who died by suicide and/or taking selfies in front of such a memorial is not appropriate and does not honor the life of the person who died by suicide.

• Hannah’s tapes blame others for her suicide. Suicide is never the fault of survivors of suicide loss. There are resources and support groups for suicide loss survivors.

For questions or concerns regarding this article, please contact us at 717-397-7461 or by emailing mha@mhalancaster.org.

 

A Lesson “On Pain”: How I Coped Through the Hard Times

By Johnston Kelso, Marketing Intern

I had a very strange childhood. I moved around a lot and as result had to make a lot of new friends. Being a shy, introvert sometimes the “making friends” part didn’t happen very quickly or sometimes it didn’t happen at all. Unlike your stereotypical image of an introvert, I did not spend my time in my room reading books. I played outside, building forts out of sticks, making bows and arrows out of tree branches and my mom’s garden stakes, and of course, as most boys in my generation, I fell in love with the solitary activity of video games and the internet. 

As I grew older my likes started to become a little more “refined” (sarcasm used). I started really getting into music (mostly metal), I started reading books on mythology (Hephaestus and Dionysus were my idols), and I was a connoisseur of amateur YouTube comedians such as Ray William Johnson, Kassemg, and the Bath Boys.

Something soon stuck to me that became more than just a hobby: I started to write and read poetry. I say that writing and reading poetry became more than a hobby for me, not because I became a famous poet or anything (not to say it wasn’t a temporary goal of mine), but that it became an outlet for me.

I would write poetry to vent my negative feelings in a healthy way.

Through my perusal of both famous and amateur poems I came upon one that changed my perception of pain, during a time in my life where I was experiencing a lot of it, both physically and mentally spurred on by medical conditions, family and friend issues, and constant rumination.

The poem was called On Pain by Khalil Gibran. One of the reasons I love poetry is anyone can prescribe their own interpretations and meanings about what the poet is inferring, even if the poem seems quite straight forward. It is a very personal literary medium. On Pain was incredibly inspirational to me in a time of need, so I want to share with you both the poem and my interpretation at the time.

The poem starts, “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain”. “Pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding,” is the line that explained to me that pain was necessary for both understanding and growth.  The line afterwards describes how it is necessary, “The stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain,” the heart of the fruit I assumed to be the seed, and the stone, all material surrounding the seed.  This told me that as a fruit must shed its skin and be devoured in order for the seed to be exposed to sun and soil and grow again, I must endure pain to grow anew. 

The next part of the poem read, “And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.  And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.”  This part hit me very hard.  It told me that if I focused on the simple joys of life as much as I did on pain, my grief could be understood as a phase, like a season passing over a field and that in my time of greatest hardship I have only the reminder of what summer (a.k.a. the joys of life) to get my through the winter (my period of grief).

Finally, the third and most beautifully worded section of this poem goes, “Much of your pain is self-chosen.  It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.  Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility: For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen, And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears”.

“Much of your pain is self-chosen.” This meant to me that most of the pain we go through is not by events that normally illicit grief but that grief is conjured because of how WE FEEL about something.  Our perception of an incident by the medium of our emotions is what causes the most pain.

The next section, to the end of this selection, I viewed as a large, complex, and abstract thought.  “It is the bitter potion…,” what this line meant to me is that it is okay to accept your pain and let it overwhelm you.  It is healing as well as a coping mechanism. 

Though we may not understand, especially during times of pain, why this pain is necessary, we must drink our pain as we would drink an unpleasant and painful medicine. We can trust that the beauty of the unknown, whether it be a God or some form of subconscious, will guide you to happiness once again.

 

Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Mental Health Month 2017

When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle. It’s important to remember that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. Yet, people experience symptoms of mental illnesses differently—and some engage in potentially dangerous or risky behaviors to avoid or cover up symptoms of a potential mental health problem.

That is why this year’s theme for May is Mental Health Month—Risky Business—is a call to educate ourselves and others about habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems themselves. Activities like compulsive sex, recreational drug use, obsessive internet use, excessive spending, or disordered exercise patterns can all be behaviors that can disrupt someone’s mental health and potentially lead them down a path towards crisis.

May is Mental Health Month was started 68 years ago by Mental Health America, to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone. Last year, Mental Health Month materials were seen and used by 22.3 million people, with more than 8,500 entities downloading MHA’s toolkit.

This May is Mental Health Month, we are encouraging people to educate themselves about behaviors and activities that could be harmful to recovery – and to speak up without shame using the hashtag #riskybusiness – so that others can learn if their behaviors are something to examine. Posting with our hashtag is a way to speak up, to educate without judgment, and to share your point of view or story with people who may be suffering—and help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness.

“It is important to understand early symptoms of mental illness and know when certain behaviors are potentially signs of something more,” said Scooter Haase, Executive Director of Mental Health America of Lancaster County. “We need to speak up early and educate people about risky behavior and its connection to mental illness—and do so in a compassionate, judgement-free way.”

MHA has developed a series of fact sheets (available at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may) on specific behaviors and habits that may be a warning sign of something more, risk factors and signs of mental illness, and how and where to get help when needed. MHA has also created an interactive quiz at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/whatstoofar to learn from Americans when they think specific behaviors or habits go from being acceptable to unhealthy.

“Prevention, early identification and intervention, and integrated services work,” concluded Haase. “When we engage in prevention and early identification, we can help reduce the burden of mental illness by identifying symptoms and warning signs early—and provide effective treatment Before Stage 4.“

For more information on May is Mental Health Month, visit Mental Health America’s website at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.

Download the toolkit here!