People scream about equality. However, there is a vast gap in equality for those of us with a mental illness. Accomplishing the simplest task or understanding simple emotions is like scaling a huge wall in front of us, one that spans gender, race, religion, economics, and characteristics and much, much more. I question the validity of “Equality.” I think “Equity” is what is needed.
Say you have three prisoners released from prison and they all face a wall that prevents them from successfully reentering society. Now, one is tall enough to almost reach the top and the middle one is two foot shorter and then Shorty is even two feet
shorter than the middle one.
Equality would give them equal equipment. So a two foot ladder would get the first one over. The middle one and Shorty would gain no advantage at all with the two foot ladder. However, Equity would give all of them the advantage of getting over the wall. The tall one would get a two foot ladder and the middle one a four foot ladder, and Shorty would get the biggest one, a six foot ladder. Equal help or Equal equipment? NO. Equity in reaching the desired result? YES.
Each would get different amounts of assistance to provide an Equal Opportunity to get over the wal. Many, like me, have never found Equity.
There is no “One Size Fits All” nor is there a “Magic Gate” for the mentally ill to walk through in becoming productive members of society. This must become a personalized experience for each and every individual. Each of us have needs and strengths and these need to be addressed and strengthened individually.
The same emphasis, or more, needs to be placed on educating and helping us to develop bonds with successful people as is currently placed on the criminalization of us.
We need Equity not Equality!!!
It should not be this way. Should it?
Peace & Light