Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What's at stake in this election?

We, as individuals living with a mental illness are a vulnerable class.  There is a lot at stake for individuals with a mental illness during this upcoming election.  Hopefully everyone is watching the Presidential debate tonight.  When you're watching the debate, listening to the candidates and deciding who is the best person for the job... think about your mental health! Whose policies are best for you and your mental health? Whose policies and beliefs will make it harder to receive your mental health services? If not your services, then someone who lives with much less than you and struggles to receive their mental health services.  No one should go without mental health care  (or health care) and no one should be denied coverage because of their mental illness.

The points we should take into consideration for the election as stated by NAMI ( are:
  • Protect public mental health funding (medicaid, public mental health services)
  • Expand access to mental health coverage (medicaid eligibility, affordable coverage with fair and equal coverage for mental health and substance abuse services)
  • Ensure that effective mental health services are available (large range of services, community integration services, access to medication for all, workforce development services)
  • Promote the integration of mental health services, substance abuse services and primary care services
  • Improve the mental health of children, youth and young adults (Early identification and intervention, home and community-based services, juvenile justice diversion, transition-age mental health services)
  • Meet all the mental health needs of service members, veterans and their families
  • Provide homes and jobs for people living with mental illness, allowing them to get back on their feet and obtain independence
  • Eliminate disparities in mental health care
  • End the innapropriate jailing of people living with mental illness (incarceration diversion, proper mental health care while in custody, providing access to mental health care to inmantes upon release from incarceration)
What candidate has an improved mental health care system as a priority?  What candidate cares about those of us with mental health concerns?

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