18 Mental Health Questions We Want to Ask the Presidential Candidates


Listen up, potential President of the United States — we want to talk to you about mental health. No, not as a subset of the gun control debate. Mental illness affects about 61.5 million Americans, and we have some issues we’d like you (and other elected officials, for that matter) to address as we approach the election year.

So at the convenience of future debate moderators, we asked our readers what mental health-related questions they’d want to ask the presidential candidates.

Here’s what they had to say.

On mental illness and prison:

1. “What will you do to make sure prisons aren’t continually used to hide people with mental illness?” — Shawn Henfling

2. “What impact does the for-profit prison industry have on the high rates of incarceration in this country, particularly the incarceration rates of those with mental illness?” — Paul Banuski

3. “Housing the mentally ill in prison is unacceptable. What plans do you have for other treatment options?” — Rebecca Chamaa

Question1

On the connection between mental illness and gun violence:

4.Will you comment on the fact that nearly two-thirds of gun-related deaths in this country are suicides and not homicides, and does that information change the way you approach the issue of the proliferation of guns?” — Paul Banuski

5. “Will you agree to end mental health stigma by ending the practice of speaking about mental health issues in the context of gun violence and start discussing the real problems with our mental health system in the U.S.?” — Dolores Sanchez, Founder of Mental Health Justice 

Q2 copy

On mental health care:

6. “When will there be more affordable medications? — Theresa Lafar 

7. “How can you make mental health treatment more affordable for the uninsured and underinsured?” — Erica Mcclellan

8. “How would you address the shortage of qualified mental health care providers?” — Lindsay Ballard

q7 copy

9. “What will you do to make mental health care a priority in this country? How will you make it more accessible?” — Nikki DeMeyers

10. “What do you consider your priorities when it comes to mental health reform in the U.S.?” — Gen Somers

11. “Can they explain why, despite the great need, mental health care feels like an afterthought rather than a priority?” — Julianne Leow

Q3 copy

On mental health and our veterans:  

12. “How are you going to help lower veteran suicide rates?” — Bridget Flynn

13. “Veteran mental health care seems to be at a loss if you talk to the vets. I’m curious, how is this being addressed?” — 

Q4 copy

On helping those who are have a serious mental illness:

14. “What will you do to reprioritize those with series mental illness who continue to be filtered out to prisons and homeless shelters?” — Deborah Mihalik Geesling

15. “Why is money being spent on the fluffy stuff like pamphlets instead of being redistributed to help those who are seriously mentally ill?” — Alicia Renkema

Q5 copy

On more mental health-related issues: 

16. “How would you help eradicate mental health stigma?” — Erica Enos

17. “Why does it feel like those with mental health issues are consistently subordinated to those with physical health issues?” Kayla Wientzek  

18. “How would you make mental health a global priority?” — Emilyanne Wachter 

Q6 copy

Have more questions? Drop them in the comments below: 

Related: The Only Time Mental Health Was Discussed During the Democratic Debate

 


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

When I Lost It While Attending to My Child’s Special Needs

Well, it happened. I’m not proud. My son, Jack, stood in the center of his room with tears rolling down his face. We just finished the 15-minute nightly battle of me injecting chemo down his throat followed by another painful teeth-brushing war. The side effects of chemo have nearly destroyed what’s left of his baby [...]

To My Best Friend Who Also Experiences Depression

Five short years ago, I had never heard of you. You were kind of, but not really, seeing a friend of a friend at community college. There was never a moment, in the beginning at least, that made me say, “Oh my God, you’re my best friend.” Our friendship simply was. Like it had always [...]

When I’m Judged Because My Child Needs Screen Time to Eat

Screen time is the nemesis many therapists, teachers, doctors and friends tell you is the worst possible thing you can give your child. When we’re out, I see how people look at me and judge my parenting because my child is watching a video while we eat. I see how they shake their heads and [...]

Panera’s New Menu Item Is Long Overdue

Panera Bread is finally testing out a new option for its gluten-sensitive customers. The company’s new Rosemary Focaccia Roll is made from white sorghum from Africa, as well as sprouted broccoli, chia and flax seeds, Yahoo Food reported. “I went kicking and screaming into the world of gluten-free bread as an artisan baker,” said Tom Gumpel, [...]