Even still, talking about these things allows everyone to be on the same page. If I had known that my mother was actually suffering from a mental illness then I may have been better able to recognize the signs she was clearly showing before she took her life. I may not have been able to stop her, but I would have been given the opportunity to try.
Some people think science is dry or boring and has nothing to do with their lives. Still more believe that science has become so complex that politicians are incapable of talking about it, that no one but scientists can discuss it. But science is now so integral to every aspect of our lives that it has to be talked about by those who wield power.
Let's hope that political rhetoric this time around reaches a higher standard. A good start indeed would be for candidates at every level to take the stigmafree pledge. It's simple to do and would be a good start for continuing the national conversation about mental health care policy throughout campaigns as they unfold.
The system of mental health care seems to have taken a step back with jails being the largest mental institution in the U.S. today. This means that the state funding that was once taken out of the budget and the countries' economic revenue is now being used on state prisons instead of mental health system hospitals.
One of the most important things is understanding the difference between mental illness and wellness. The more we talk about mental health the way we talk about physical health, the more we can decrease the stigma and shame that often impedes those in our communities from getting the help that they need. Please share your stories, join the discussion and stay tuned!