August 30, 2016

By Katrina Gay

 

With the 2016 presidential election season in the final months, and with more than 70 issues on which the candidates have positions, we find ourselves asking, "Where do they stand on mental health?”

This week, we are asking no more. The Clinton campaign released their agenda on mental health care yesterday. And while we recognize the references to mental health on the Donald Trump campaign website, we now have an opportunity to review both these positions.

With more than 40 million adult Americans affected by mental health conditions, this is a core issue. Our country needs a president who will make sure that it is easy to get quality mental health care.

The Clinton agenda released yesterday includes several issues that have been priorities for NAMI and our advocacy agenda. Among those:

  • An emphasis on early diagnosis and treatment
  • An emphasis on diligent enforcement of our federal mental health parity law
  • An enhanced research focus
  • Criminal justice reform

The release sparked media interest as well, and NAMI provided an important perspective on the agenda. We embraced the opportunity to aid understanding of this important document and contributed to many articles, including: 

Clinton’s Mental Health Agenda is the most extensive agenda seen by a presidential candidate–it should set the bar for deeper discussions about mental health amongst candidates for any elected office. While this is a priority issue for the Oval Office, it is equally important for Congress do their part. And you can help.

We need the Senate to act when they return to Washington. This Friday, NAMI is urging all Americans to contact their U.S. Senators. Call 202-224-3121 and ask your Senators to act now on mental health and push to pass S.2680.

We have long insisted that mental health care is the top of our public policy agenda, and this week’s news is encouraging to families and individuals who have long advocated for mental health. Plans are good, but actions speak loudest.

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