Dear Mrs. or Mr. President,
I am writing to you with a heavy heart and a clouded mind. I am writing to you on behalf of the millions of Americans suffering with mental health disorders today. I am writing to you in search of a promise for your assistance.
I cannot begin to express to you how discouraging it is to live in a country that consistently ignores the decline in the mental health of its citizens. Discussion on mental health is seemingly obsolete in the mainstream media, and the blatant disregard of those with mental illnesses fills me with pure indignation.
American citizens need help. We need a president who is going to bring attention to this problem and take action to make quality health care for those suffering with mental illnesses more accessible.
In 2006, mental health disorders were one of the five most costly conditions in the United States (AHRQ.org), and from a personal standpoint I can assure you that not much has changed in the ten years that have passed since then. As someone who has gone through the unacceptably expensive process of trying to recover from severe depression, I have seen first hand the tremendous price of mental stability. Healthcare for mental illnesses is outrageously costly and there is a limited number of people who can afford it (the Census Bureau said that 33 million people lacked health care as a whole in 2014). On average, 117 Americans pay the ultimate price for the lack of access to proper health care each day, and ultimately take their own lives (AFSP.org). If our federal government turns a blind eye to the suffering of mentally ill Americans this number will only rise. Please, I implore you, consider exactly who the victims of poor mental health care are: mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends and colleagues, even the brave men and women who fight for this country.
The people who courageously served for the sake of our freedom, are the same people who are repeatedly being neglected by our healthcare system. On average, 20 veterans commit suicide each day. How dare we say that we appreciate the service of our veterans when we allow themselves to reach the point in their lives that self-inflicted death feels like the only way to terminate their pain. If we cannot depend on our country to save the valiant heroes who gave so much to this country, how can we depend on them for anything?
The dependency that we have on the federal government to protect us is , in my eyes, the biggest motivation for change. I am requesting that during the span of your upcoming administration, you acknowledge the necessity for reformation of the healthcare system regarding mental illness, and in an ideal world I would hope that you initiate the changes that are so long overdue.