NAMI’s Statement Regarding President Trump’s Comments on Reinstitutionalizing People with Mental Illness

Aug 16, 2019

Yesterday, President Trump revisited his statements about reopening mental “institutions” and perpetuated false stereotypes. Two weeks ago, the president also called people with mental illness "monsters."

In response, National Alliance on Mental Illness Acting CEO Angela Kimball released the following statement:

“The president should be talking about better care and earlier access to intensive treatment, not revisiting the shameful institutions of our past.
“Words matter, Mr. President. ‘These people’ are our friends, neighbors, children, spouses. They’re not 'monsters,' 'the mentally ill' or 'crazy people' – they’re us. Talking about reinstitutionalization only further marginalizes and isolates the one in five people with mental illness. Instead, we need to be talking about the power of early treatment and effective intervention to change lives.”
Today, too often, people languish in emergency rooms and law enforcement officers are responding to avoidable crises because community-based mental health services aren’t there for people who need them.
Instead of focusing on the past, we urge the administration to focus on improving access to mental health care. There are commonsense approaches that we know are effective and that can be implemented now to improve access to mental health services. We must:

NAMI welcomes the opportunity to meet with President Trump and work with his administration on steps for improving mental health services in America.

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).