Until recently, suicide was viewed principally as a mental health problem, where it was felt that effective treatment of persons' psychiatric conditions or psychological issues would alleviate their suicidal thoughts and plans. However, many of us have viewed it as a fundamental public health problem as well as a mental health challenge.
Did the Democrats lose the Senate over Ebola? Pundits are parsing the exit polls, and they'll no doubt come to contradictory conclusions. But the surreal notion that President Obama's incompetence put America at risk for dread disease fed Republican efforts to cast Democrats as a danger to the nation.
Now that midterm elections are over, the lame duck session offers us the opportunity to galvanize around Dr. Vivek Murthy's confirmation. It is time to mobilize and vocalize in the spirit of our democracy. So long as we can respond with fervent action and advocacy that reiterates truth, we can create the change we seek in this country.
Human rights would be empowered by a proportional and rational response, but knee-jerk fear has a history of racism in this country when it comes to public health. Unfortunately, current media reactions, prevalent in mainstream and social media, are fanning flames of xenophobia in America and withholding care from those that need it most.
We should act to strengthen the Office of the Surgeon General by protecting it from political manipulation. In our hyper-partisan political world characterized by gridlock and great political poetic license in the interpretation of science to support preconceived political biases, who will have the responsibility to speak scientific truth to power?