Dear Future President,
Although I’m sure you are very excited and overwhelmed with your recent success in becoming the President of The United States, I’d like to take a small portion of your time to discuss something of great importance to the citizens of this country, and all inhabitants of the world. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one out of every seventeen people is encumbered with mental illness. As this seems very serious, given that at least one person in a small room of people suffers, it is often disregarded not only by the victim, but their friends and family as well.
Mental illness does not discriminate. It affects people of any race, religion, ethnicity etc… However, people are often not as equitable. I’m sure you have heard of the “End the Stigma” project, in which many supporters are seeking to eliminate the fear of acceptance and being seen as a part of a stereotyped group after being labeled with their illness. These negative attitudes create prejudice leading to negative actions and discrimination. According to the Government of Western Australia Mental Health commission, nearly one in four people felt that depression was a sign of personal weakness and would not employ a person with depression. People with mental illnesses should not condescended at all, nor more so than people with physical illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, kidney disease etc… One in five people also said that if they were diagnosed with depression, they would not tell anyone. This just shows the unnecessary embarrassment and fear people have over something they cannot control.
As chief executive officer, you are responsible for enforcing justice, freedom, and equality. To do so efficiently, there first need to be laws about discrimination regarding mental illnesses in the workplace. A person’s mental health should not be a determining factor if they are fully capable of performing all tasks. Education in this area should also be a requirement and greatly increased. Educators should discuss with young people how mental illness touches us all in some way directly or through a friend, family member or colleague. Stories of real experiences and how people truly suffer are the best way to help eradicate stigma. If people know more about these subjects and how they affect victims, they are less likely to discriminate, and more likely to seek help if they think they may need it.
This may not seem principally important to you, and that is precisely the issue. Commence your presidency with something that will especially make a difference to your people. Initiating any of these ideas, or ones of your own will be very beneficial to the equality, culture, and prosperity of this country.