Yesterday I enjoyed working a full 8-hour shift on Mother’s Day in a floral shop in Scottsdale , AZ. Being a mother my self it was some what amusing to watch men stream in who had forgotten mothers day and crept sheepishly in to find flowers for their wives and mothers. We helped them all find flowers that would smooth things over, offering the parting advice to let the woman in their lives know that they had custom ordered them for today so that they could pick them up so they would be as fresh as possible.
I am sure you wonder why men buying flowers has anything to do with this blog, well besides most of the budget conscious Scottsdale shoppers, I found some disturbing news after my sift at the family Mother’s Day dinner at my mother in-laws.
My brother in law who works for a company contracted by the state of Arizona to administer and run mental health programs for the state; let me in on a dirty little secret that the state of Arizona is hiding from everyone. He is in management in this department and because of this he gets all of the state bulletin emails. The picture they paint is not a pretty one.
He let me know that much of what is going on in Arizona is not well. All of those wealthy, or pretentending to be men, who quickly zapped their credit cards for flowers yesterday, are dropping like flies. He said suicides are up 500%.
How dose he know this you ask? One of the departments he is over are the States crisis intervention counselors. These are the people who come out after a tragedy or come out when the police call for mental health assistance. He said that they are getting tons of calls of these wealthy Scottsdale men committing suicide because of their finical problems. These men, many stating so in suicide letters, are stating that they are killing themselves so that their family will get huge death benefits from their insurance policies.
What these poor should didn’t realize is that once they killed themselves it was an automatic disqualifier and that their families who are already suffering more will get nothing, zero, zip, from insurance. So not only are these families now suffering more, but they are now left with out fathers and husbands. He said that there are hundreds if not more of these types of cases happening a month. He also let me know that the suicide/crisis line has seen double the calls they normally do per month. A normal month pre-crisis they received about 3,000 calls, now they receive upwards of 8,000 calls per month. That these people are increasingly more desperate and scared. He said they call talking about doing terrible things to themselves and others.
If this is not bad enough lets delve in to the state budget cuts. The state health department in Arizona, Gone. No more free immunizations, aids testing. Meals on Wheels, gone. No more food for the elderly and home bound. Food stamps offices are completely overwhelmed and are not longer able to handle the inflow of applications for assistance. Child care assistance for working families has dried up as well. So now if you find a job, you better be able to pay for child care of your SOL.
The city of Phoenix will be laying off 750 police officers. Despite promises that the raise in food tax would solve this problem. The fire department has all had their hours cut to 32 hours a week. There will be many more losses most of which I can’t remember from a brief conversations, I will have to call him back and ask more.
He did tell me he’s scared, very scared. He said they are going to cut a bunch of mental health benefits including medications and housing for the highly functioning people that are not crazy enough for the state hospital. He said this, “The whole state is a powder keg ready to blow” He said they have several mental health clients that they are expecting to go off the depend and do something crazy like going postal, but their hands are tied and threes nothing they can do. He said expect things to get very crazy in July in Arizona. Prop 100 will not stop this; it will only prevent deeper cuts. He’s keeping a bug out kit in his car and considering purchasing a gun. He’s very anti gun as well.
The point of this picture-less post, all is not well in Arizona. The internal memos going around the state are saying that this is worse than the great depression. They are hiding this from you on the news to avoid creating a panic. People are suffering and I expect once they cut more benefits in July, in the heat of the summer, your going to see some crazy people getting a lot crazier. Get ready and be safe. The news is lying to you. Its horrible out there, they are just hiding it from you.