Dear Future President,

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We need the presidential candidates to talk about how they are going to solve the mental health crisis. There are 25% people in the United States who struggle with mental illness. Family members, friends and co-workers who know someone with a mental illness. Tragedies affect us all too.

For a year now, the presidential candidates have been dodging questions about the problem of mental illness in America. Some will bring it up when talking about gun control and others ridicule the mentally ill.

Well, when is the question going to be asked, “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT THE PROBLEM FACING AMERICA IN REGARDS TO THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM?”

Donald Trump is going to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants out and send the people here illegally back to where they came from. Well, Donald Trump, you can’t keep the mentally ill from entering the United States because many of us are already here legally. You can’t send us back either. Where would you send us?

The mental health facilities are so overcrowded that people can’t get the help they need.

People are too embarrassed to get help because politicians and the media contribute to the stigma that prevents people from getting the help.

People are not educated as to what signs to look for and where to go to get help. One in four people in America have a mental illness- that means that everyone most likely at least knows someone who has a mental illness.

So, what are you going to do Trump, Clinton, and Sanders?

I think the people who have mental illnesses, their families, and anyone who has been affected by a mental illness due to tragedy deserve a right to know.

I can give you some answers since you can’t seem to come up with any of your own. At least if you have, you have not shared them.

1. Ask the mentally ill and their families what is lacking and suggest what could help.

2. Ask the employees at mental health facilities what they see as problems and see how they would fix it

3. Consider bills that are in Congress right now

4. Go visit psychiatric hospitals and see how awful most of them are. The patients are being treated worse than animals and not getting the care they need. The Emergency Rooms are filled with people who can't get help.

4. Visit the prisons and see how many people who have a mental illness are there instead of a psychiatric facility

5. Stop the revolving door for prisons and hospitals by having inexpensive if not free care after someone leaves

6. Finance things like Medical First Aid, Peer Support Specialists, NAMI, DBSA, and Mental Health Association instead of having them rely on donations

7. Ask other countries what they are doing

8. Revamp NIMH (National Institute for Mental Health)

You can’t just throw money at the problem. You can’t keep dodging questions, you definitely should not add to the stigma like I have heard some of you do. There are 25% of Americans who struggle with mental illnesses and we deserve to know how you would handle the crisis before we cast our votes.

The topic of mental health deserves so much more than any candidate or media outlet gives it.

I suggest you:

-INVESTIGATE

-Ask for solutions from people who are in the trenches

-Do SOMETHING! Talk about SOLUTIONS

-PROMISE that you have things you are going to do to help the mental health system within your first 100 days in office.

I hope to hear the topic of mental illness talked about at the debates and I think that it is not only the responsibility of the politicians, but also the media. Don't just let them talk about it- Make them come up with a policy as to what they are going to do. It is just as important to America as any other issue.

 

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