Stigma and Mental Health Treatment
An Open Letter to PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton Reverend Al Sharpton
Rev. – When describing what is wrong with the processing of the young TX man who has successfully avoided prison due to privilege, you started the segment out focusing on the cost of his proposed treatment center. I would ask, in all due respect, that when you uncover such bad policy as is playing out in this scenario, you avoid stigmatizing mental health TREATMENT – regardless of its origin.
The struggles that I face as an advocate, working toward better mental health options for all, is that treatment is often seen as a non-option, the obstacles being the cost and the stigma associated with pursuing assistance in the first place.
The work that I, and others in this community, do is to try to ‘normalize’ the experience of seeking mental health support within the community and also to work to make mental health care options of all types more affordable. For example, this work dovetails into your other passion, gun violence in cities. With better access and less stigma, victims of gun violence are more likely get the support they need to heal from the wounds of trauma, loss and worst of all, repetitive family cycles of violence.
Credit due to the ACA, there is a HUGE opportunity to get access to a wide spectrum of help in front of those who previously could not afford it, but if we don’t enlist help from opinion makers such as yourself, we’ll continue to be defeated by stigma.
Please, don’t let a pithy comment about an entitled young man stand in the way of this form of community support. Please keep this struggle, the mental health support for all, a high priority when you have an opportunity to expose how some are ‘gaming’ the legal system.
I’d be happy to discuss mental health stigma or other areas of concern with you or your staff if I can be of any support. Thank you for the great work you do.
Respectfully – Lizabeth Wesely-Casella, Founder of BingeBehavior.com