Ottawa knows this is a problem: Internal Public Safety memos obtained by Global News acknowledged the crisis of mental illness in Canada's prisons - there are too many, with problems too complex, for the system to deal with.
I spent a two subway trips thinking about this article, trying to land on a new way to discuss the mental health elephant in the room.
I thought about the structural underpinnings of mental health and how so many conversations happening out there - social-emotional regulation in the classroom, labour in the Knowledge Economy, police violence, privacy erosion and political maleficence are all connected by the same root.
How might I frame so complex, so integral a structural problem in a way that is easy-to-digest? How can I convince the people most responsible for understanding the depth and breadth of our societal system to look past themselves and commit sociology? What series of hooks and nudges could I employ to empower stakeholders in completely different sectors to see where their interests align and advocate for a shared solution?
What made me depressed was the realization that I couldn't.
I can't; I don't have the skills, the tools or even the capacity to develop enough of them to independently nurture a conscious, sustainable society. Sometimes people marvel at my cognitive bandwidth or ability to churn out work, but I'm still just one drop in the ocean.
It's too big for me. It's too big for anyone - and if we're so hell-bent on selfish gain and individual or even tribal competition, how can we ever recognize the vastness of the challenge, let alone try to address it?