Who are the Arizona Mad Moms?

There’s a grassroots movement afoot. Actually, movement is too weak of a word. I would characterize it more like a Texas storm front with ominous clouds gathering. Mothers, sisters, grandparents, fathers, brothers who have loved ones and friends living with serious mental illness, they’re mad. They’ve had enough. And for whatever reason, they’ve all found each other and they’re speaking up, showing up, creating websites, bill trackers, t-shirts, committees, and communication teams. Whew, my head is spinning with how fast this is happening.

For me, I don’t believe it’s happenstance. I see it as the hand of God. I knew these families were out there, we just hadn’t congregated yet for a variety of reasons. One being that well meaning mental health organizations have over time slid into the certain death that comes from mission drift. Trying to help everyone affected by some sort of mental health diagnosis to the exclusion of the ones who cannot advocate for themselves has left any hope for progress on their behalf in paralysis.

But not anymore. You can’t unsee the mothers and families in the AZ Senate gallery every Monday afternoon as Senator Catherine Miranda reads their stories. You can’t unhear the discrimination and neglect by our state to do the right thing on behalf of those with the most severe forms of mental illness. You can’t close your heart as you drive away from the capitol afterwards and witness homeless men and women talking to themselves in utter filth that hearkens back to the days of Charles Dickens’ novels.

For the first time in a long time, I believe there is reason to hope. Leaders need to pay attention. I don’t see the Mad Moms effort fading away any time soon. There’s only so much crisis a person can live with until they break. There’s only so much abuse and neglect of our loved ones that a mother or father can endure. There’s only so much gaslighting that can be attempted in staffing meetings until we all figure out: we’re being duped.

So, brace yourself Arizona, the storm is here.

Learn more about Arizona Mad Moms.

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