Marin IJ Readers’ Forum for Nov. 20, 2022 – Marin Independent Journal

Marin IJ Readers' Forum for March 18, 2022 - Marin Independent Journal

We need affordable mental health care worldwide

As a student at San Marin High School, I am writing in response to the article by The Conversation news service. It was recently republished in the Marin IJ Lifestyles section (“Anxiety detection and treatment in early childhood can lower risk for long-term mental health issues,” Oct. 31). The article is a Q&A with Elana Bernstein, a school psychologist who researches child and adolescent anxiety.

It is my understanding that anxiety is the most common mental health problem affecting children and teenagers. It is especially dangerous because disorders can follow through to adulthood and can cause more serious problems or never be treated. Bernstein indicated that about 80% of mental health issues come from childhood traumas. They allude to what started the anxiety. This is a problem because people don’t receive the help they need in order to help themselves. Often it is due to high expenses or limited resources.

Some may argue that resources, like therapy, should be expensive because that’s how therapists make their money. This is wrong because some people can’t afford to pay for therapy on top of paying for life’s necessities. It is very important to have stable mental health in the young years of our lives because it can have an effect on our lives down the road.

We shouldn’t make young people wait until it’s too late to seek help. We should demand affordable mental health care for everyone around the world to make this a less recurring issue.

— Maddox Fortune, Novato

Moore’s vision of the American people deserves support

I want to thank filmmaker Michael Moore for sharing what initially appeared to be an overly optimistic view of the election and the American people. Despite the whole grid predicting a “red wave,” he tenaciously envisioned a “blue tsunami” in response to negative feelings about former President Donald Trump. Instead, we appear to have a split Congress.

That Moore’s hope for such a blue wave was based on his idealism became evident. He is a dreamer and I hope he’s not the only one. I believe that this American dreams with him, to a time beyond gridlock where goodwill rules.

— Oshen Klink, Stinson Beach

Political cartoon really missed the mark

I am writing about the recently published political cartoon by Guy Parsons in the Marin IJ on Oct. 26. The cartoon calls young people “The Outrage Generation” and implies that it is focused on revealing societal problems without taking action. It is misguided, denies history and avoids social context.

Outrage is a critical starting point for change in societies. Outrage at the injustice and cruelty of slavery instigated change and the onset of the Civil War. Early in the Industrial Revolution, outraged citizens fought to end worker exploitation, as well as unsafe working conditions for children and adults.

Parsons depicts my generation — including young activists who are Black, Indigenous, people of color and other members of marginalized communities — at the forefront of systemic injustice. Our causes, pictured in his superficial drawing, indeed include school shootings, growing income inequality, tackling the climate crisis and other interlocking environmental and social harms. We make no apologies for trying to make the country and world a better place that we will inherit.

Following the leadership of frontline and marginalized communities, we have taken action. Some examples include:

• Mobilizing to elect progressive and Democratic candidates across the ballot in 2020, as well as aiding the election of President Joe Biden

• Sidelining Dream. Joe Manchin’s permitting deal, which would have gutted the National Environmental Policy Act to protect frontline communities from pollution facilities

• The passing of California’s SB 1137, which instills 3,200-foot setbacks from oil wells, after decades of action led by environmental justice advocates across the state.

The cartoon is hypocritical. Merely complaining about “problems” while taking no “actions” precisely describes the role of political cartoonists, who appear to get paid to express outrage without utilizing skills to amplify the voice of young people and community organizers fighting for change.

—Laurel Levin, San Rafael

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