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    Posted April 29, 2014 by
    Ogden, Utah
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Going public with mental illness

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    It takes a village to solve problems.

    My achievement for living with mental illness is that I can be very creative in doing things. I am a problem solver. I can think of new ways to improve our society.
    I believe there are better ways to reach people to those with mental illness. To reach people who may become a high school drop out or the homeless, please utilize visual and tactile ways to educate.
    For instance, I believe for more people living with mental illness to be functional are to consider new ways to educate to our ways of thinking. In social settings, you must be a good listener and be able to read facial expressions, body language and tone of speech, to get by. That is why we are not social animals and prefer to be left alone. This is due to not be able to pick up social ques.
    It is given there are 3 types of learners. There are those who listen well (not me), those better at leaning by sight (whether by the written word or by diagrams) and those who are hands on learners. There are many of us who are bad at English, but are excellent at Scrabble, since we are tactile learners. In addition, I myself do better with the written word and diagrams instructions. I had worked at one place and the boss would give me oral instructions and I did not follow these instructions. Thus I did not do well at this work place and I did not keep that job for long. On the contrast, another employer that I worked for gave me written instructions and I kept that job a little longer.
    Though people living with mental illness may not keep jobs for long, our thinking is constantly changing and we tend to repeat ourselves, I believe more employers should consider hiring us for one reason. We can be very creative in solving problems.
    As I believe of creating many high paying American jobs, it takes a village. There are those who can write well (business plans developers), those excellent with the details (accountants, engineers, researchers), those who can market things (popular people) and finally those with lots of ideas (people with mental illness), just to name a few. Thus together with people of different talents working together, many new businesses can be created. There is this synergy affect of people working together.
    As they say out of 200 ideas, 2 may be winners; thus the more ideas produced will result in a huge winning idea. This is where people with mental illness would come in handy. Just like a stopped clock is right twice a day and a clock running backwards is right 4 times a day, people with mental illness may produce ideas that are right on the money. Though we are not working.
    For instance, as our national debates are on this health care system and rest on its costs, how can we improve this system? Research shows 80 percent of all illnesses are caused by lifestyle, like being obese. At the same time, they also say if we had an obesity rate like that of 1980, millions of jobs could be created. How do you get people to lose weight? Research shows that outdoor exercise is the best way to lose weight, become more productive and reduce depression. We should find ways to lay new biking/walking trails at major employers campuses, like at hospitals, schools or state government properties. There should be a new "adopt a trail/sidewalk" campaign for businesses to finance these trails/sidewalks. With every business that adopts a sidewalk each, will result in a whole new trail/sidewalk system put together. Then we all can enjoy it as a result.
    They would place several bikes to rent at these trails of campuses to help get people into shape. Employees could become more productive and you improve mental health of everyone who utilizes these bikes, as well. Special bikes (those 3-wheelers) could also be made available to injured vets and seniors to reduce suicides. In winter there would be cross county skis and snowshoes to rent.
    Now these ideas are only one of many concepts of "out of the box" thinking to solve our health care problem. There could be more ways to solve problems by tapping into those with mental illness, like the high school dropouts and the homeless. They ought to use visual and tactile ways to reach people.
    You may be surprise how that homeless person may have a God given talent to save this nation. If only society can reach us by way of how our brains function best.
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