Recently I've become a big fan of complaining. As anyone who's mastered the art of getting what you want with telephone customer service operators will know, complaining is a great way to get what you want and make stuff better.
The government is currently giving everyone a great chance to have a big old (justified) whinge about the Medicare Benefits Scheme, that is, what medical services the government does and doesn't pay for for its citizens. They're doing a big review process, and YOU can put your voice forward to tell them what you want to change.
The process will take you minimum 5 minutes, but has a lot of room to write stuff, so if you're a loquacious type or particularly pissed-off it could take significantly longer.
I want you to complain about absolutely everything that you think is a problem with the system, but my particular bent, as you may have guessed, is for people to give feedback about the mental health care system.
I've spent 12 years in the mental health system and one of the BIGGEST setbacks to achieving mental wellness for me is and always has been financial barriers. I know from the scarily regular messages I get from people desperately trying to navigate the system, from my friends with mental illness and from MY FUCKING PSYCHIATRIST AND PSYCHOLOGIST who don't have any answers for me, that the situation is fucked and I am so far from alone. I haven't just missed the memo on how to get care, it just isn't out there! I urge you, if you've had a similar experience, or someone you know has, to fill out the survey and tell them exactly what you think about the current situation.
(Update: if you're looking for ideas of what to complain about, Dr Ben Mullings has written a fantastic, easy to read guide here)
Often in life we have to accept the shit sandwich and go with it. It's part of being able to roll with the punches and have a life more free from suffering. But some moments are ripe for brutal honesty, when you can tell them exactly how shit the shit sandwich is. This is one of those times.
And because I'm particularly invested in this shit sandwich, and I want other people to be, I'm using all my behaviourism 101 knowledge to give you guys some FREE limited edition badges (pic above). Although I feel a bit daggy doing it, I also don't give a fuck, I want everyone to complain their heart out. One in two people will experience mental ill-health in their lifetime, if we all said something, shit would definitely change. Here's hoping you all will (and that I'll be happily bankrupt from all the badges I have to make).
The badge is a quote from a poem that has BEEN THERE and has helped me out of there many a time:
Let it all happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final
To get a snazzy badge all you need to do is send a screenshot of the survey after you've submitted your response, along with your postal address to email@example.com
Also, share it the fuck around. Tag me on instagram / twitter @honor_eastly with your badges. And get in quick, the review finishes November 9th.
Submit to the review here.
If you need some more anger-induced motivation, read this angry thing I wrote about the mental health system in Australia.
Update: A very kind person offered to donate some money to cover costs, which is really nice cause stamps are way more than you expect they are (cue "I remember when soft serves where 20c" conversation). You can donate too if you feel so obliged, just click the button below. Otherwise you can buy yourself a badge here (a suggestion from another kind soul).
For those interested, here's the breakdown of costs!