Candidates Can Be Engaged on Mental Health
July 14, 2015
Through one and a half months of tracking presidential candidates’ comments on mental health care, only four officially cited comments could be found by Hillcrest Family Services. I personally sought to engage one of the now nineteen confirmed Republican and Democratic candidates last night. I listened intently as Governor Bobby Jindal, appearing at the local American Legion Hall, shared the reasons why he is the best candidate to be our next POTUS. After questions on the economy, the military, the Supreme Court, immigration, and the national health care law, I was given the opportunity by the Governor to ask a question on mental health care. I cited the limited access to mental health care as evidenced by Iowa’s standing of 48th in number of psychiatric beds per capita. Governor Jindal spoke to the issue and cited his states’ efforts at local control and funding following the clients. Our focus in the Iowa Cares project is not to gauge the accuracy of a candidate’s remarks but to engage them in the subject of mental health care. Thanks to Governor Jindal the number of mental health comments in this campaign is by our count increased by 25%. You too can raise the conversation level by attending similar events and bringing up the question that doesn’t draw headlines —- Yet!
Gary L. Gansemer, President/CEO, Hillcrest Family Services