First of all, I am an independent voter and my state has not yet voted in the primaries. I have no idea who I will vote for, but as of right now, I don’t plan to vote for any candidate in the primaries. If Trump and Clinton are my choices in the general election I don’t think I have enough information to vote for either one. However, if they were to talk about a critical issue that faces America, the mental health crisis, that candidate would have my vote as long as they have a reasonable way to solve the problem.
Second, I don’t want this article to be all about politics. I want it to be about an issue that affects every American. If you are mentally ill or know someone who has a mental illness you are affected. If you were at the scene of a tragedy where someone with a mental illness killed numerous people, you are affected. If you listen to the news, you are in fear of being somewhere where someone who is mentally ill attacks them.
Third, One in four Americans have a mental illness including very successful people who offer a lot to society. Only 1% of the mentally ill commit violent crimes. Many times the mentally ill hide that they have a mental illness because of the stigma. They also fear being discriminated against.
Fourth, the media needs to educate people about the various illnesses and what signs to look for. They need to let people know that it is okay to get help and where to get it. They need to stop contributing to the stigma by treating this subject like the plague. After a tragedy, would be a great time to do this. However, instead, they talk about gun control and interview the people who knew the person who killed the people not taking advantage of this time to discuss all the things I just mentioned.
Fifth, to the candidates- You need to convince the people who have mental illnesses, mental health advocates, and the average American how you are going to SOLVE the mental health crisis. You need to stop dodging the very few questions that are asked of you and bring it up in your speeches. We all want to know what your thoughts are on the subject. This issue is just as important as national security,balancing the budget, the environment, gun control, education, etc. However, it is not talked about enough for the voter to make up their minds who to vote for if the main issue they are concerned about is mental health/illness.
Sixth- If you are going to get the votes of the mental health advocates and come up with a good plan to solve it, read Candidates-Do you care about the mentally ill? PROVE IT! where I give you a lot of suggestions and people you should talk to about this issue that means so much to so many people.
Seventh and Final: This problem is not going away. Trump- You can’t build a wall around the mentally ill and you can’t send them to another country. We are here to stay and are going to vote. Hillary- I separate you from your husband, but I want you to thank him for sending me a personal signed letter that he wrote after he was in office thanking me for his efforts. That meant so much to me!
If you are going to vote in an upcoming primary or in the general election, ask your candidates “HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SOLVE THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS IN AMERICA?” If you are in the media, I plead with you to get them to talk about it.