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McCain Obama on Mental Health Care; Background for Upcoming Presidential Debates

September 17, 2008

Arlington, VA—The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has released the responses of presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama to a detailed questionnaire about mental health care—along with highlights of the Democratic and Republican platforms.

"Mental health is part of the national dialogue on healthcare," said NAMI executive director Michael J. Fitzpatrick. "We offer the candidate responses as part of the process of public education."

"One out of four Americans are affected by mental illness at some point during their lifetimes. It does not discriminate between Democrats and Republicans. We hope mental health services will be addressed in the upcoming debates."

The presidential debate on October 7 in Nashville coincides with Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW).

During the primaries, Senator Obama answered 24 specific questions on a NAMI questionnaire. McCain provided a statement in lieu of specific answers. His campaign noted that it was not his policy to reply to questionnaires.

NAMI also is highlighting excerpts from the Democratic and Republic party platforms adopted by the recent party platforms in the areas of healthcare, education and veterans.

NAMI is a non-partisan organization with 1100 state and local affiliates, dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. It does not endorse political candidates.


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