Ep 04: A Community Response with Judge Mack

Today Judge Mack joins us on the show to give us his perspectives on the topic of behavioral health and suicide in the communities he engages in. Throughout his childhood, his previous career as a police officer, and his current position as Montgomery County judge, Mack has witnessed the mental health and suicide crisis being faced not just in his district but across the nation. This public epidemic is exacerbated by many issues such as taboo, family unpreparedness, shortages of counselors, the price of therapy, misinformation, and what he sees as general unreadiness in the community. These challenges have resulted in a situation where people who are in need of help are taking recourse by simply suffering their way through their sickness in silence. Judge Mack has been working tirelessly to combat this issue by creating what he calls a community ‘task force’. Mack’s task force is working hard to create a culture of care, and to bring the topic of mental health into the public eye while also bringing his community together. This reminds us that amongst the suffering, there are stories of hope and healing and that people like Judge Mack are taking a stand to make the world a better place.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Understanding the public epidemic of behavioral health and suicide across America.
  • The stigma around mental health issues stops people from seeking help.
  • There is a lack of resources for people who are struggling with mental health to access.
  • Mack’s court and inquest duties led him to discover this lack of resources.
  • Schools and families aren’t teaching kids how to practice mental health.
  • One of four people deal with a mental illness but only one of five sufferers seek help.
  • People are blocked by work or waiting lists from seeking mental health.
  • Physical health is prioritized over mental health.
  • Misinformation is also rife in preventing people from getting the correct help.
  • The expense of mental health resources blocks people from accessing them.
  • Communities of faith need to recognize this in their own circles.
  • Mack’s advocation for his community’s response to mental health to be named a ‘task force’.
  • Time and distance from a traumatic event can stop somebody committing suicide.
  • It’s not a person, but a part of their story, that wants to die.
  • The task force brings people from all faith groups together.
  • Recognizing that mental health issues cross lines of race, faith, and class.
  • People can’t love others if they don’t love themselves.
  • Social media might be the cause of mental health issues happening to teens.
  • Boundaries are important for the mental health of kids.
  • Unregulated communication through smartphones could negatively affect mental health.
  • Why Mack’s job and task force give him a lot of hope for fighting segregation and mental health.
  • Recognizing that Montgomery county has a good sense of community which gives Mack hope.

Tweetables:

“There are people who need to know where to go for help and we need to foster that in a community. We have got to have a culture of it being okay to say, ‘I’m not okay’” —@JudgeWayneMack [0:04:00]

“We are not teaching our kids coping skills, how to fail forward.” — @JudgeWayneMack [0:06:02]

“So what do you do? Pay your light bill or go see a psychiatrist?” — @JudgeWayneMack [0:09:43]

“If there is someone out there that is hurting, that doesn’t know what to do or where to go, just know that this community is here.” — @JudgeWayneMack [0:09:43]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Judge Wayne Mack

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Talk Saves Lives

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