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Lawmakers of America: Improve mental health care, education, and early intervention.
  • Petitioned President of the United States

This petition was delivered to:

President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Lawmakers of America: Improve mental health care, education, and early intervention.

    1. Petition by

      Mental Health and Substance Abuse Care Community Response to the Newtown Tragedy

As people who have direct, lived experience with mental illness and addiction, as family members caring for our loved ones with these illnesses, as counselors and health care workers, and as leaders of behavioral health programs, we all call on you, the leaders of our Nation, to begin with us a road to recovery from the Newtown Tragedy.

We grieve for the Innocents murdered in Newtown. These are our children, our neighbors, our families, our friends. There can be no greater tragedy in a society than losing its young, its own future, so needlessly and so senselessly. Such actions strike at the very heart of who we are and who we hope to become.

So we must grieve. We grieve for the families who lost their children, for the families of their teachers who were killed, for the entire Newtown community, and for America itself. Yet, we owe them all so much, much more than just our tears. They also deserve our action to identify and implement solutions.

To begin our recovery, we recommend that you provide Federal support and assistance to:

>Immediately implement school, family, and community-based programs to promote mental health, to prevent mental illness and substance abuse, and to provide early interventions for those exhibiting these conditions. Prevention and early intervention strategies can strengthen children’s and families’ mental health and resiliency, prevent or lessen the burden of illness, and help to recover from trauma. Further, teachers must be taught how to identify troubled children early and to guide them into effective supports before these children get into difficulties.

>Immediately begin teaching students at all levels to recognize the signs of mental illness and addiction, and to seek help when needed. Few young people get even a single hour of education about mental illness or addiction, its signs or its treatment. We can’t expect people to step forward or to seek help for themselves or a family member when we don’t even provide them the rudimentary tools to do so. We must begin now.

>Immediately double the capacity of mental health and substance abuse programs. Funding for community mental health and substance use treatment services has been cut dramatically. As a result, only a third of those with moderate mental illness, two-thirds of those with severe illness and less than one-tenth of persons with a substance use disorder ever receive any care. Families simply cannot get badly needed care. The Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity law must be implemented fully. We must expand peer support services. Mental health and substance abuse care must be fully integrated into good medical care.

We commend President Obama for creating a Workgroup this week, in part to examine the issue of banning assault rifles and large capacity clips. The broad availability of these weapons in the US is a public health problem of major dimensions. We seek to work with President Obama and with the Congress to address this issue directly and forthrightly.

The Newtown Tragedy is not solely an issue of public health or behavioral health, firearms or ammunition, or education or law enforcement. Instead, this Tragedy calls for all of us to work as one to create lasting solutions.

Yes, we must grieve for the Innocents, just as we grieved recently for those lost in Tucson, Aurora, and Portland. But, this time, our grieving must have a direction and purpose to galvanize action. As people who know first-hand the tragedies of mental illness and addiction, and the triumphs that are possible, we all call on you to take immediate action.

Our Nation expects nothing less of all of us.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 750 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • 2 months ago


      I've started the petition "Barack Obama and Aaron Schock and U.S. Senate: Eradicate US Army Toxic Leadership" and need your help to get it off the ground.

      Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link:


      Here's why it's important:

      To Whom It May Concern,

      I was the immediate supervisor for SPC Annzala Pitt at C.Co 225 BSB. In the time that SPC Pitt was part of my squad she encountered numerous difficulties which I believe were entirely due to being mistreated by her senior leadership. When SPC Pitt arrived at 225 BSB she had a medical situation that required attention prior to her deployment to Iraq. When she voiced her concerns to 1LT Riglick not only were her concerns dismissed but her private health information was erroneously released to multiple parties. SPC Pitt filed a complaint for the HIPPA violation against the offending party, 1LT Riglick. A few months later 1LT Riglick was assigned to C.Co as our Platoon Leader. This is undoubtedly the situation that caused SPC Pitt to be labeled as a problem soldier by C.Co leadership. SPC Pitt was not protected from reprisal and was treated badly for the duration of her time with C.Co 225 BSB.

      The result of filing her HIPPA complaint against 1LT Riglick was having a stigma placed on her by the very leadership that was supposed to be protecting her. She endured rumors, attacks on her character, and even attempts at discrediting her intellectual capacities. She was even accused of having inappropriate relationships with multiple senior Non-Commissioned Officers by our Platoon Leader 1LT Riglick. SPC Pitt continuously sought only to do her job as a mental health specialist and as her first line supervisor I pushed for her to be moved from the company to the Troop Medical Clinic. When SPC Pitt was sent to the Troop Medical Clinic to preform her duties as a mental health specialist C.Co leadership made sure to let the incoming social worker know what their impression of her was. SPC Pitt then worked with Major Ball, who had already been told she was a problem soldier, and was subsequently treated horribly to include having to undergo a mental health evaluation without provocation.

      SPC Pitt requested on numerous occasions to be moved from C.Co 225 BSB to another company, battalion, or division to get out from underneath the stigma placed on her. These requests were heard by our Company Commander, 1SG, Platoon Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Command Sergeant Major, and even Division Command team but nothing was done. Instead of helping the soldier 1LT Riglick and Major Ball ordered me to counsel her for their perceived insubordination. When I disagreed with these orders it was made clear that my military career was also in jeopardy. I was ordered by 1LT Riglick to counsel SPC Pitt for not properly using her chain of command to which, I informed the command that she had done exactly what procedures are outlined. The result of my not counseling her for this was to have my MEDPROS status changed to non-deployable by 1LT Riglick. This retaliation against me for defending SPC Pitt would have ended my career if I had not already been found deployable and fit for duty by the Medical Review Board in 2008.

      Despite her outburst which finally concluded her time in C.Co I would still recommend that she be retained by the United States Army. SPC Pitt endured being mistreated for months and still maintained a positive attitude. Her intellectual prowess combined with her willingness to work make her a viable asset. I believe that if SPC Pitt had been able to move to another command away from the toxic leadership of C.Co 225 BSB her military career would have flourished.

      SGT David Trapolsi

      You can sign my petition by clicking here.


      A PITT

    • Yolanda Fuston WAYNETOWN, IN
      • 5 months ago

      I thinkk it is important that if someone knows they are not feeling good to be able to call 911 to receive mental evaluation. The signs are their of what they feel and it is good for the people to be able to take care of them selfs by asking a professional what the signs are so if treatment is needed it can be started. And people need to be taught this privately or they will not know to call the ambulance wit ha sign of compulsive or depression or suicidal /homicidal reactions or remarks.

    • Denver Nobles SCOTT, LA
      • 6 months ago

      Peer education programs should be taught at all levels of life to be front line people for mental/physical health!

    • Lisa Powell LAKE FOREST, CA
      • 7 months ago


      I frantically tried to get help and/or support from our State provided Mental Health Care

      Professionals that I had gotten involved with my sons initial onset of mental illness. After months of medication(s) all psychotropic variations and dosages, and cries for help from myself and my son, he was told by the psychiatrist that the diagnosis being given to him and his "condition" is ANXIETY! That was a green flag for him to not have to take anymore medication, he could just take a yoga class right? Meanwhile, he exhibited(s) all classic signs of schyzophrenia with numerous required admissions to hospitals and Institutionalizations.

      A couple of months later, everything that I had provided to them with "RED FLAG WARNINGS" was overlooked and dismissed.

      Next, his Step Mom was murdered and his life, as we know it, will never be one of any kind of freedom!


    • Gary Grubb OAK HARBOR, WA
      • 8 months ago

      Because I suffer from PTSD and get treatment that is not treatment, its sweeping the problem under the rug with medications and ignoring.


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