Lighting Candles - 29th Aug 2014

During this last week my workplace was informed that we will have to endure more cuts to our budgets for public mental health services in the near future. If this is true, it will add up to about 70 full time positions throughout our network which covers the north and western region of metropolitan Melbourne.  Someone calculated that this amounts to about 12 positions for the Inner West service that I work for...
I don't understand how we can continue to aspire to provide a high level of care and treatment for our clients if these cuts go through. As it is, from the last round of cuts, I feel that we are providing a much more fragmented service which sees clients on the merry-go-round of discharge and re-admission, and a sub optimal level of care and treatment, despite the best intentions of the clinicians I work with.
This sense of hopelessness, reminds me of a song I wrote a few years back now, when I felt disempowered by what was going on with our treatment of refugees.  Nothing seems to have changed, in fact, the situation is definitely much worse.  We now have policies that detain unaccompanied (refugee) children indefinitely till the government waits for the senate to pass laws that will never make them permanent residents of our country...
In times like these, it is easy to feel disheartened and powerless to change anything, feeling that our small contribution is not worth anything, so we lapse into doing nothing because we feel overwhelmed by it all.  I certainly feel this way at times.  
When I wrote 'Light A Candle' many years ago, I remembered an Indian proverb that said - 'It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness'.  I hope this song inspires you and me to not give up hope, to light a candle, so that collectively we can start a fire and as a people with voting rights, demand that our politicians look after the most vulnerable in our society...

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