Biden’s spotlight on son’s addiction earns praise from advocates

Biden’s spotlight on son’s addiction earns praise from advocates
Posted on Sep 30 2020
YAHOO! News

The presidential debate was dominated by chaos and crosstalk. But one moment of empathy broke through the muddle for some people watching: a spotlight Biden put on his son Hunter’s struggle with addiction. Coping with mental illness and substance addiction is widespread, and often invisible. One in five Americans deal with mental health issues in any given year, and, according to data from the American Addiction Centers, the two struggles often co-occur. Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO of NAMI told Yahoo News that since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, his group’s helpline has seen a 65% increase in calls and emails from people looking for help. “While NAMI cannot comment on specific candidates, we know that discussing substance use and mental health conditions openly on such a national stage helps to get people talking about these issues and ultimately helps people feel more empowered to get the help they need,” Gillison wrote. “As a result of this collective crisis, more people are discussing their mental health challenges and vulnerabilities openly which helps normalize these conversations and destigmatizes mental health concerns.”