The 2020 election marks a critical crossroads for the United States. We as Americans will together determine the direction that the country takes on a number of vital and interconnected issues, from healthcare and housing to criminal justice and job creation. And each of these issues have a big impact on the mental health of Americans and how people with mental health struggles are treated.
Before COVID-19, we had a growing mental health crisis. Deaths from suicide, overdose, or alcohol, also knowns as “deaths of despair”, have been rising at unprecedented rates over the last decade, and nearly 3/4ths of Gen Z and half of Millennials reported dropping out or pausing work or school at some point due to mental health issues. And now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things are even worse with more people than ever struggling with their mental health.
As voters, we have an important role to play in this process. By voting with our minds in mind, we can help lead to advances and improvements for the tens of millions of Americans who report dealing with mental illness each year.
Use this guide to find out where candidates asking for your vote stand on issues intimately connected to mental health: access to healthcare, criminal justice reform and racial justice, jobs and economic opportunity, and housing. And remember, this is about more than just the critical presidential race — state and local races matter a lot, too.
Vote with Your Mind in Mind brown-bag discussion - Tuesday, October 20 at 12 PM EST
Watch our brown-bag conversation on what's at stake and how to vote for mental health. Participants include Dr.Ashwin Vasan, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Fountain House, and Assistant Professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, M.D., Ph.D., Progressive Activist, Educator, Author, Speaker and Fountain House's new Senior Political Advisor, and Vivian Cosentino, Fountain House Member and Mental Health Advocate. Watch the video below: