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Mental Health and Elections

NPR did a story about how mental health is becoming an important political issue for young people. I think it should be an important political issue for everyone.

I also agree with this:

Hannah Wesolowski, the chief advocacy officer at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), sees recent policy moves relating to mental health as part of a major shift in how politicians discuss the issue.

“There’s almost no policy issue that doesn’t have mental health overlap,” she said, “whether you’re talking about immigration, education, health care, reproductive rights, veterans. Across the board, all of these issues have mental health repercussions and a mental health impact.”

I have often said that the best way to protect kids from abuse is by creating a world where there are fewer vulnerable kids. That means solid and consistent home lives, dealing with bullying, racism, and poverty, and making sure families have the appropriate support systems in place.

Mental health is no different. We have to address societal issues that cause harm. Politicians who don’t address both the lack of mental health resources and the various political issues that actively harm the mental health of all of us don’t deserve our vote. If you consider yourself a mental health advocate, consider how your representatives have voted and where they stand on these issues. Have they cut mental health funding, opposed mental health support in schools, or supported laws that cause active mental harm to some segments of the population?

Consider that before you go to the voting booth this year.

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