Election Day is drawing near, which means it’s time for all of us to do our civic duty as Americans and as mental health advocates.
National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, Sept. 27 and NAMI is partnering with 4,500 nonprofit organizations, businesses, schools and election administrators with the goal of getting half a million Americans to register to vote in this election.
Mental health has been such a small part of the political conversation this year. Yes, both presidential candidates have taken positions on mental health issues and both party platforms contain language about a few of the most pressing issues in our mental health system. But it can’t stop there. So it’s up to us to keep the conversation about mental health alive and at the forefront of the 2016 elections.
More than 100 million viewers are expected to tune into the presidential debates. Let the candidates and all those viewers know that mental health impacts every voter. Join us in tweeting mental health questions at the Oct. 9 debate moderators, Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz. Let the candidates know that if they want your vote, they need to take action on mental health issues. Together, we can make mental health the defining issue that gets people to show up on Election Day, Nov. 8.
Voting is more than just your American right. It is your voice—one of the most powerful tools you have. We must elect officials who will implement policies that will improve mental health care for all Americans. And whether you are a caretaker, an advocate or someone who lives with a mental illness—whether this is your first time voting or your twentieth—your vote matters.