Skip to Main Content

Bernie Sanders and Seth Moulton both have plans to expand mental health services for veterans. Joe Biden wants to double the number of school mental health staff “so our kids get the mental health care they need.” Elizabeth Warren hopes to address the opioid crisis by expanding prevention efforts, treatment, and recovery services. And Amy Klobuchar just scored an endorsement from an Iowa state representative impressed with her plan to expand behavioral health facilities and boost federal funding for mental health research.

But some of the nation’s most prominent mental health organizations want more details. Now, they’re launching a new initiative to keep that conversation going — and to get leading presidential and congressional candidates on the record about their specific policy proposals and how they’d put them into action.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!

  • It’s wonderful to hear campaign promises and how we should support these candidates. However, most of the people running are currently are members of congress or are elected officials in government. What bills have they sponsored. Take Biden for instance, he’s been in government for 40 years and has held the second highest position in the US. What has he done about mental health? I suggest you get Trump to sign on to mental health. At least he keeps his promises

  • Some of us have irregularities/damage in the brain or improper production/release of brain chemicals. There is no “cure” for these problems….. we can not just get over it, we have to live with it, and our families have to live with it……. and it makes me want to die.
    I know I am not alone in this.
    Can I help somehow?

  • Ms Ramadan I too am truly sorry to hear about your son but as someone who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and then recovered and became a psychiatrist I respectfully disagree with your view of recovery. Recovery of a life in the community can and does occur. Medication can play a role but most important is for people to learn to experience connection, empowerment, and revitalization which our National Empowerment Center promotes through emotional CPR.
    I have not heard of any consumer group in this new coalition which is like having policies about women developed by men.

    • Daniel, I’m glad for you and your recovery. I’m not saying recovery is never possible. Please read the stories I’ve been collecting for three years on my blog from families and individuals. One size does not fit all and some are more seriously ill than others. I don’t want to put anyone in a box. I want a system that recognizes individual needs. Some need more help than others. We need to be advocating for everyone.

  • Hi Mental Health for US
    Just discovered you and your platform asking 2020 political candidates to talk about mental health in their campaigns. I see no specific mention of serious mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, bipolar disorder, etc. Some people are not able to recover from SMI and languish in prison, in solitary, in care homes or in their parents’ back bedroom for years and years.
    I belong to a dozen Facebook groups of families of the SMI. Their stories are horrific and from across the nation. They’re not able to find help anywhere.
    I want to support your efforts. I’ve been sending letters to candidates and calling on Facebook and on my blog for 2020 candidates to step up, speak about, and put forth national plans for SMI that do the following: Reform HIPAA, repeal the IMD exclusion, do brain research into these insidious brain diseases, provide for long-term care and short-term outpatient services, improve access, provide housing, supported education, and family supports. Not simply mental health. Not simply drug and alcohol addiction. Serious mental illness.
    Would Mental Health for US be willing to expand its platform to include SMI – specifically spelling it out, not simply lumping it into mental health?
    I hope your answer is yes.
    You can read stories about SMI individuals and families – across the US – that I’ve been posting for 31/2 years on my website and blog. You can also read my own story in my book about my and my son’s struggles for over 25 years to get help for his SMI. He died in 2014 on a hospital psych ward. He was transferred, without my knowledge, out of county (lack of beds), his records weren’t forwarded with him, and I couldn’t get doctors to talk to me (HIPAA) even though I was on my son’s Advance Care Directive.
    I unwittingly captured the last year of Pat’s life in my book which, among other things, includes his story and many stories of individuals and families being failed by the system.
    I will sign on and volunteer to help you once I’m satisfied that this undertaking includes SMI and specifically mentions it in your platform.
    Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Dede Ranahan
    A Safe Place to Talk About Mental Illness in Our Families
    Sooner Than Tomorrow — A Mother’s Diary About Mental Illness, Family, and Everyday Life
    By Dede Ranahan with Patrick Ranahan

    • If I may respectfully disagree with you regarding the statement: “Some people are not able to recover from SMI…” I whole hearted agree that recovery is difficult and especially more so without supports (professional and natural), however, Recovery is Possible! There are other groups, such as NAMI and PRA (Psychiatric Rehab. Assoc.) who are working diligently to advocate for the aim to provide “Recovery” instead of “Treatment” models for SMI. The Recovery models include treatment, but emphasize that simply ‘taking meds and going to therapy’ is too narrow of a focus and Recovery is found through holistic approaches.

      Widening the types of services available, instead of just simply funding outdated models which are highly ineffective is the must better approach. There are numerous organizations nationwide who are also pursuing these efforts on state and local levels as well. I encourage anyone to research this as well.

      I speak of this from both personal and professional experience as I have experienced SMI in my personal life and continue to work with clients and their family/caregivers as a type of “Recovery Coach”.

      I am truly sorry to hear of your son’s struggles. I am happy to hear you are using the story to spread the word and inform of the absolute failure which often occur within the Mental Health system. I am a staunch advocate for all who are especially in the legal system and are even further removed from access to services.

  • Why in the world would a country which elected and supports a president who suffers from severe mental illnesses, devote substantive help for others afflicted by mental illness? As a psychologist, I implored my representative, S Moulton, before the last election to recognize the impending dangers, but he never even answered my letters.

Comments are closed.