The world is really unpredictable, life is whirling around us so fast, and no one really knows where it will stop.

Mark told me of a mother who took her 20 year old son to a shooting range. He innocently aimed at a target and she took a gun and shot her son, then shot herself.

In Binghamton NY a man went on a rampage and shot and killed 14 people including himself in  an immigrant training center. He knew what he was doing, he came loaded up to do more then he ended up doing, and he mailed a package to a news station with his license, his pistol permit and a letter about how different parts of his life he has been treated poorly, he appears paranoid in the letter.

In the city there are senseless shootings it seems like every night. Teenagers, innocent bystanders, people who have futures, lives, loves, and suddenly their world is turned upside down. Now, if they are lucky enough to survive , ( and for some of them is might not seem lucky to have survived) they have to deal with healing, maybe reconstructive surgery, maybe no longer able to do their jobs, raise their children. There was a situation a few weeks back where kids 14 yrs old were at a house across the street from a man who was going to work. And for the FUN of it, they aimed at this man and shot him, killed him.

I see people at work who are struggling to make it into work, who have difficulties paying for things they really need, who are being frugal.

Depression is real, mental health is unappreciated too often, it is as common as a cold, the flu. We need to treat the mind as we do the rest of our bodies. There should not be a stigma that mental health is a negative issue- it is not. If I was younger, I would train to assist the mental health community. I think at 55 yrs old, I am too old to go to school for that profession. But it is real, it is not hocus pocus, or imaginary. And it is increasingly rearing its symptoms as the situations of our day to day lives become more unpredictable.

At work I know it seems the we have increased our reviews for Mental health requests ten fold. It is a sad time right now, and I can be Suzie Sun Shine- I always try to be, but I am also feeling the pain of others, the strain we feel and the worry of many about what the future holds.

I find myself stretching to try to help keep everyone around me upbeat- for life is too short to spend it down, when we are down the days are longer, nights are lonely, there is no sun, the shades are drawn, and if it were not for forced responsibilities, the depression can eat a persons every bit of energy.

So I ask that we each be aware of those who are going through tough times, be cognizant of your family and friends, and be there for a shoulder, share what you have, help them find a support group or a counselor,  we can not be blind or tunnel visioned, and do not take lightly when someone is down, for it is hard to get back up, people really do need people. Do not be afraid to talk to a professional, if you are employed, see if your company has an Employee Assistance Program, if not call the county, see what is available. Peace and kind thoughts come your way as this Easter weekend approaches. Love, Mrs justa.