I am sure that most of you saw the hostage situation unfold in New Hampshire on Friday. I did a bit of reading around of the papers and the blogs to see how people responded to the situation. It is unfortunate that the sympathy by and large all goes to the people who were taken hostage and none of it goes out to this poor guy who had no other way to bring attention to the fact that he was in desperate need of real mental health workers who could work with him to end whatever was obviously disturbing him to such a severe degree.
This man, Leeland Eisenberg, didn't take a gun into the Clinton campaign headquarters and he didn't fire at anyone nor did he hurt someone. What he did was make a really bad call for help. What he got was a lot of attention for a problem that is truly huge in these states where the funding has been severely cut or is nonexistent for good mental health services as well as substance abuse programs. I don't have the figures right here but will find them as to what New Hampshire spends on such cases, but it was known to people in Rochester, NH that this man needed help. Why he didn't receive it is a mystery.
The kind of Sherlock Holmes we need right now is the one who actually sees there is no mystery involve. We all need to be covered for our mental health problems just as we need to be covered for our problems with drug abuse and anger management and our depression and our more severe forms of mental illness. Without this type of coverage in place along with the facilities and professionals who are trained to work with this part of the population, we won't have a decent and democratic form of health care. We will continue to maintain a very discriminatory form that is based solely on your ability to pay.
We cannot send our mentally ill to Bangkok for weekly therapy sessions. While many travel there for surgery, the kind of intense and personally involving care a person with a mental illness deserves and requires is quite different. It also means that we as a society must learn to value all humans no matter their ability to perform as we do.
Dennis' comments to the man in New Hampshire about there being those who do not truly deserve health insurance and the benefits in his plan were fair and would have helped Leeland Eisenberg. He would not have had to take a political ad by Clinton and turn it into a personal message to him that he could get her help if he could get her attention.