Dear Senator Rand Paul,
The title of this blog is vague yet I hope will get people’s attention who normally would not read blogs I write.
It is sad, but true, that if I wrote something like “The Mentally Ill need Senator Paul’s help'” it would be ignored by almost everyone except mental help advocates.
That is because the topic of mental illness and the failing mental health system is a taboo subject in this election. The media and candidates refuse to talk about how they would solve the crisis that affects us all. Some of the candidates contribute to the stigma that is attached to the mentally ill. Do you not believe me? Then, read Where the 2016 Candidates Stand on Mental Health Issues by Time Magazine.
I am writing to you, Senator Paul, because you are someone I have liked and admired for a long time. I am hoping that because you are in the national spotlight right now, you can encourage the media and the candidates to address this important issue.
I don’t usually reveal who I would vote for when writing blog entries, participating in my social media sites, or even talking to others. However, I am very disappointed in all the candidates right now. I live in a state that has not yet voted in the primaries and have no idea who I would vote for.
This topic of mental health is very important to me among others and I hope that before I get a chance to vote I will know how each candidate would SOLVE the this problem. If I don’t get any kind of answer, I will be writing your name on the ballot. I have thought about others, but definitely do not have a favorite. I want to ask them all and have with no response: Candidates-Do you care about the 25% of Americans who have a mental Illness? PROVE IT!
Mental Illness and the Mental Health Crisis affects every single American! Think about it: It does not just affect the mentally ill (many veterans) and their families. It has an impact on those who have lost loved ones at the hands of someone with a severe mental illness or the people who were traumatized because they were there.
If you don’t know anyone who has a mental illness and were never at a tragedy scene, have you ever watched the media coverage of one? If you have, I would say you are affected too. If it were me, I would be worried that an unstable person with a mental illness would come in and start shooting at my workplace, my child’s school, where I worship, or at a public place where a lot of people are.
Therefore, I would have to say that pretty much every American should want to know what their future president is going to do about this issue. The voters want to know how they are going to solve it, and don’t want candidates to just brush it off and say a few words about it. It is just as important as many of the other issues discussed and definitely more important than the entertaining theatrics.
I want you to know the things that the mentally ill face:
- not knowing what symptoms to look for because the public is not educated
- embarrassment to get help
- not knowing where to get help
- can’t get help when they nee it
- being jailed instead of hospitalized
- the revolving doors because they can’t get outpatient care
- mistreatment by staff members in hospitals
- being ignored when they try to reach out to supervisors or patient relations after mistreatment
- being ignored after they plead the people who represent them in Congress to do something to help them and others- They get no response from emails, snail mail, phone calls, and social media
- being ignored by the media when they offer to tell their story and they want nothing to do with it and very rarely even talk about the mentally ill at all, especially patients who are dying due to mistreatment at hospitals and jails
- insurance companies deciding that they can’t get meds that have worked for a long time
- not being able to afford medications
- Discrimination and Stigma- If you don’t think we are discriminated against, then read I have a Dream Re: Mental Illness
A a mental health advocate and someone who struggles with a mental illness, I have written many articles and made many attempts to contact the media and politicians over the years without success. The thousands of people who read my blogs are usually other advocates and they encourage me with my efforts. The problem is that I need you and other people with influence to hear my voice and theirs.
The mental health crisis and the mentally ill can’t be kept out of the country with a wall. We are here and should have a voice. We are strong human beings who have endured not only our illness, but the stigma and discrimination that goes with it. We are Americans just like everyone else and even though many candidates might think we are not smart enough or too crazy to find our ways to the polls, we will. We just need to know what candidate is going to be on our side so we know who to support and vote for. (Please see below my signature all the other blogs I have written regarding mental health advocacy and asking the media and politicians for help.)
Founder of FB page Mental Health Advocates United
Founder of FB Group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
Picture Source: Twitter (otherwise unknown)
More articles you might want to check out that deal with the same subject: