When I decided to write this blog, my goal was to focus my writing on subjects tied to mental health and my experiences in therapy. Key to my success would be to avoid writing about politics, but there are only 5 days until the election, people.
Consider this a momentary relapse.
In evaluating the two major presidential candidates from a therapist’s perspective, the choice is clear. Hillary Clinton must be our next president. Using the core ethical values of our field as a litmus test, veracity, equality, beneficence, non-maleficence, it’s entirely clear that Donald Trump is about as far as one can be from demonstrating those principles.
The mere mention of a Trump presidency in one of my classes elicits visible shudders from professors and students alike. As therapists, it’s astounding to witness a nominee for president whose moral character runs so counter to our standards of being a decent person.
I’m sure that there are some therapists who have become so jaded that they are now capable of doing the mental gymnastics necessary to support Donald Trump. But I have a hard time believing that they also approach therapy from a place of unconditional acceptance and celebration of the human condition. To espouse both the values inherent in therapy, and those of Donald Trump, even in different settings, would break a person.
Even if one were to entirely ignore the ever-growing list of transgressions of Donald Trump and evaluate him based on what he calls his “policy proposals” alone, it’s clear that he is a man with little perception of reality, particularly when it comes to health care & mental health.
Being the 7th grade-level thinker he is, Donald Trump issued a “paper” on healthcare. Released back in March, and just 1085 words long, no-one was surprised to discover that the document consisted entirely of his signature blend of complaints and sweeping, grandiose promises.
All but an afterthought, only one paragraph toward the end focuses on mental health. It states:
“Finally, we need to reform our mental health programs and institutions in this country.”
Hooray. Someone on the Trump campaign recognized that combining the words “mental health” and “reform” works well with focus groups.
“Families, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tools to help their loved ones.”
Okay… So the country’s mental health crisis can be solved by just disseminating information to the families of those who suffer from mental health problems? Should be an easy fix! Clearly, this is someone with in-depth knowledge of the public mental health crisis.
And it’s a good thing that the (quality) campaign staffer tasked with writing this mammoth document follows up with such well-thought out details on how we’ll fix it too!
“There are promising reforms being developed in Congress that should receive bi-partisan support.”
That’s it! Hard to argue with a guy like Trump who understands the issues on this deep of a level and who presents such a highly detailed plan, right?
But, if one were inclined to argue with a genius like Trump, and one were interested in actual solutions to America’s public health crisis in mental health, one might find it worthwhile to engage with Hillary Clinton’s “Comprehensive Agenda on Mental Health.”
H.R.C. and her campaign put together a plan that not only names the real challenges faced by families struggling with mental health issues, but that also includes policy proposals that could be implemented immediately.
It addresses: the need for early diagnosis of mental disorders, the growing rate of suicide in America, Mental Health and the prison system, addiction, access to care and integration of Mental Health and traditional medical care, and much more.
Even with just a quick scan, it’s clear that there’s no passing the buck in Hillary’s platform. No dancing around the issues or vague, meaningless, statements. She’s an experienced and perceptive leader, an American, and a human being who understands the immediacy with which our country needs to elevate issues in mental health to the forefront of our policy discussion about healthcare.
So if you know anyone who’s struggled with depression, anxiety, suicide, addiction, or any mental health problem, you can support them while simultaneously rejecting utter ignorance by casting your vote for Hillary.
She gets it, and he doesn’t. I’m with her, and so is my field.
- - - -
Resources (See it for yourself):