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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mental Health Advocacy

The former Representative Patrick Kennedy resigned, in part, because of issues with mental health. From a recent report by conservative paper Deseret News (link above):
Since leaving Congress, Kennedy has not only gotten well, he has also made the leap from mental health poster boy to mental health policy advocate. Shortly after leaving Congress, he helped launch One Mind for Research, an intensive 10-year project designed to unify and advance treatment research on mental health and substance addiction.

This can only mean good things for mental health care. We need to have these conversations! The stigma against talking about mental disorders is hurtful to everyone, not just the few percent who suffer from or know someone well who suffers from mental illnesses. It is the lack of this discussion and resultant inadequate mental health care and mental health policies that contributes to the Adam Lanzas of the world.

However, why can't I find any mention of Patrick Kennedy's mission in the news beyond his actions are as a recently resigned representative back in May 2011? That was the last media mention made, and it was only on HuffPo and CNN, not the big ones like ABC/NBC/CBS/WashPost/NYT. Some few smaller local papers (like Deseret News) have written about him, but not many.

This is a rare instance where proper media attention could do a world of good. Yet they drop the ball. To this day they'd rather talk about the liberal ideology behind gun control (prohibited the Constitution) than the mental illnesses behind the mass murderers - who can easily and effectively stopped by, yes, guns.


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