The picture doesn't capture how busy this intersection in Palm Springs was earlier that afternoon, outside the store on N. Palm Canyon Drive where the book signing took place. Around 3 PM the other two authors, the staff and patrons of Just Fabulous, and myself heard yelling from the street. A young woman was sitting down on the pavement, visibly distraught and screaming at passing cars who dangerously drove through the intersection, narrowly missing her.
Fearing for her safety, I went out into the busy street, motioning for cars in either direction to stop, and proceeded to try coach her to come with me to the sidewalk. She stood up, swinging a metal sign at me that she wore around her neck, screaming obscenities. The young woman appeared to be mentally disturbed and needed urgent, medical help. Thankfully the police arrived shortly after and very professionally and calmly were able to move her out of harms way.
As readers know, my stories attempt to heighten awareness of those living with mental illness, and what we must do as a society to better support our hurting brothers and sisters. Nothing could underscore that more than the incident that took place outside the bookstore that afternoon. I hope she is getting the help she needs. It challenges me to think about who in my life I may be called to support.
Who are the people in your life you are also prompted to rush out to help?