Welcome to the June 2020 edition of MHAM’s monthly newsletter that provides you with public policy updates and other information that impacts the behavioral health care of you and those you love. This edition of Letter from Lansing is being provided in honor of all of those with brain disorders who continue to move forward with their lives despite their struggles.
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” Oprah Winfrey
A Note from the President & CEO
July is a few days away and the anniversary of the birth of our nation falls on the fourth of the month. As Americans, we take pride in our democratic government and that the “voice of the People” is honored. This is one of the foundational values upon which this country has been built. At the same time, however, this value has not always been fully realized and the events of the past five weeks have brought forth concerns about the lack of equity in our country as we confront racism at the national, state and local level. The Mental Health Association in Michigan considers racism to be detrimental to the individual and collective mental health and well-being of all persons of color. The time is now for those systems that are inhabited by racism and discrimination to be reformed and MHAM is committed to working toward that end.
Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO of Mental Health America, spoke about the cross section of racism and mental health in this way in an excerpt from a statement he posted on the Mental Health America web site:
Ending Racism is a Mental Health Imperative
Black lives matter.
We should not have to say that. But we must, because our nation has finally come to realize that racism has cost us too many lives for too long a time.
Why would Mental Health America (MHA) need to state something that should be obvious? Because racism is a mental health issue. It undergirds the trauma so many people have experienced from sources too numerous to mention. And trauma paints a direct line to mental illnesses, all of which we need to take seriously.
What we have witnessed with greater frequency these past couple of weeks is something that has undermined our society for decades. Our police have too often not protected us from trauma – but imposed it on us.
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