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US Federal Government: Increase the availability of mental health services now!
  • Petitioning United States Federal Government

This petition will be delivered to:

President Barack Obama
United States Federal Government
Secretary of HHS
Kathleen Sebelius
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate

US Federal Government: Increase the availability of mental health services now!

    1. Jason Eccker
    2. Petition by

      Jason Eccker

      Chicago, IL

It is evident from the recent increase in gun-related tragedies, like the school shooting in Connecticut, that something needs to change. Focusing on gun control is one of the obvious, and needed, choices for change. However, just focusing on gun control is like treating the symptoms of an illness as opposed to the cause.

Over the past 50 years in this country, we have seen a radical reduction in the supply of services for those people in need of mental health care. Most people with mental health disorders (even the most severe) are not violent. However, almost all of the people who commit such a violent and senseless crimes do so because of untreated mental illness. In this "highly-developed" country, people have not had adequate access to physical health care, let alone mental and behavioral healthcare. We have allowed insurance companies and managed care organizations to define mental health care as "optional" and "restricted." We have stood by as legislators that have long mismanaged State budgets cut mental health services in the first round - the "low hanging fruit" so to speak. We have allowed the stigma that people with mental illness are "broken" to continue through a total lack of adequate education and prevention programs.

We need to make sure that this nation's healthcare overhaul includes best-in-class services for mental health. The best evidence-based research supports that mental health disorders are physical illnesses of the brain. It is no longer acceptable to treat individuals with mental illness as second-class citizens (at best). Not only can we afford to make this happen, we can't afford not to.

Recent signatures


    1. Way to go!

      Jason Eccker
      Petition Organiser

      We've broken the 75,000 mark! Please contact your local congressperson's office and let them know that you vote and that you demand better mental health care for all Americans!

    2. Reached 75,000 signatures
    3. Keep up the momentum!

      Jason Eccker
      Petition Organiser

      I'm overwhelmed by the response and personal comments related to the issue of mental health care in the US. We're close to 1000 signatures - please pass it along!

    4. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Sally Matlock KALAMAZOO, MI
      • 10 days ago

      Because it is a necessity, even over and above our roads with sink holes....

    • Cindy McGiffert PORT JERVIS, NY
      • 10 days ago

      If you do not have your mental health, you have nothing.

    • Carolyn Rice OAKLAND, CA
      • 18 days ago

      I've seen several friends suffer and not have enough resources to get the help they needed.

    • Katharine Schott WATERTOWN, WI
      • about 1 month ago

      It has been clear for many years that the "major mental disorders" (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression) are, in fact, brain disorders, with altered neurotransmitter levels and evidence of neuron loss or dysfunction. Individuals who suffer from these brain disorders cannot just "snap out of it" through force of will. As a caring nation, we would NEVER allow millions of cancer patients to suffer in the streets and homeless shelters with no access to health care. Yet, we fail to provide adequate treatment for the millions of people who suffer from biologically-based major mental illness. People who, with appropriate medication and therapy, would be productive (working) members of society are left to suffer and languish in homeless shelters and back alleys. Instead of receiving the treatment they desperately need, they are repeatedly arrested, and exposed to abuse and street violence. Those lucky enough to have food and shelter still endure unbearable suffering and mental anguish due to these brain disorders. There is absolutely no justification to deny people with these disorders the treatment that they need.

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • about 1 month ago

      "Whenever the keys to self-esteem are seemingly out of reach for a large percentage of the people, as in twentieth-century America, then widespread 'mental illness,' neuroticism, hatred, alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, and social disorder will certainly occur. Personal worth is not something human beings are free to take or leave. We must have it, and when it is unattainable, everybody suffers. A size-able proportion of all human activity is devoted to the task of shielding us from the inner pain of inferiority. I believe this is to be the most dominant force in life."

      James Dobson

      Any illness with a psychological origin, manifested either in symptoms of emotional distress or in abnormal behaviour. Most mental disorders can be broadly classified as either psychoses or neuroses ( neurosis; psychosis). Psychoses (e.g., schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) are major mental illnesses characterized by severe symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and an inability to evaluate reality in an objective manner. Neuroses are less severe and more treatable illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and paranoia as well as obsessive-compulsive disorders and post-traumatic stress disorders. Some mental disorders, such as Alzheimer disease, are clearly caused by organic disease of the brain, but the causes of most others are either unknown or not yet verified. Schizophrenia appears to be partly caused by inherited genetic factors. Some mood disorders, such as mania and depression, may be caused by imbalances of certain neurotransmitters in the brain; they are treatable by drugs that act to correct these imbalances ( psychopharmacology). Neuroses often appear to be caused by psychological factors such as emotional deprivation, frustration, or abuse during childhood, and they may be treated through psychotherapy. Certain neuroses, particularly the anxiety disorders known as phobias, may represent maladaptive responses built up into the human equivalent of conditioned reflexes.


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