Lance Armstrong, Jon Bon Jovi, John McCain and Barack Obama Join in Seeking New National Dialogue | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Posted on November 1, 2006

Editors Note (May 12, 2008): is no longer an active site.

Arlington, VA —The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is teamingwith a new, on-line community, HOTSOUP.COM, as part of an experiment to transform polarized national debate into constructive dialogue.

NAMI will lead discussions on "Mental Illness and Society," as an original partner in the initiative.

Lance Armstrong, Jon Bon Jovi,   Senator John McCain, Senator Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton are among the other voices seeking to build a broad, non-partisan, community, using advanced technology on the Internet.

"HOTSOUP will stir up and nourish ideas," said NAMI executive director Michael J. Fitzpatrick. "It is intended to find common ground through the involvement of both national and grassroots leaders in addressing hot issues that are important to the future."

With approximately 1,000 state and local affiliates, NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living with serious mental illnesses, and those of their families.

NAMI's "issue loop" can be found at By signing on from the upper right hand corner of the Web page, people can begin contributing to discussions. Additional loops on HOTSOUP.COM will address other topic areas.

According to Senator McCain (R-AZ): "The people of influence in this country don’t reside in Washington, D.C., or work on Wall Street. They’re the 30 million or so average Americans who inside their own social networks are the people others turn to for advice and guidance. They’re a powerful force if a Website like can bring them together and give them a platform to amplify their voices and influence."

"Americans are tired of the spin they get from too many leaders today," said Senator Obama (D-IL). "If an online community can give grassroots opinion leaders a platform for smart, civil debate, it will fill a huge void in today's politics."

To begin the HOTSOUP.COM dialogue, NAMI has posed the following questions on-line:

  • How would you rate mental health care in your state?
  • Is mental illness ever funny?  Where does humor stop and stigma begin?
  • How big of a role does faith play in healing?
  • Should health insurance provide the same coverage for mental illnesses as other illnesses and diseases?
  • Did you know that approximately 70 percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have at least one mental illness?How can we put their lives back on track?

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