Dear Senator Rubio (a letter regarding mental health priorities)
Dear Senator Rubio,
Last week, after another senseless school shooting, we heard you loud and clear. While our hearts are with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and the entire Parkland community, there is action to take.
It’s time for a radical change in the way we diagnose and treat mental illness. In 2018, our elected leaders need to stand together in order to serve the most vulnerable members of society: children.
You are correct to say mental illness is treated as a behavior and not a disease, but we have so much more to learn. According to the National Institutes of Health, estimates of funding for various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC), the mental health category is expected to drop by nearly 30 percent in 2018.
Data illuminates a stark reality of where we are politically — taking $585 million dollars off of the table this fiscal year.
It’s inexcusable to wage a war of talking points over the national airwaves, when the numbers are so clear. Earmark more funding for training, technology, and better tools for engaging with youth and others who exhibit behavioral patterns consistent with mental illness. We have more in common than we realize — including two Pennsylvania senators representing our interests here in Philadelphia. Both Senators’ Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) have postured to their respective bases in advocating for change, albeit through different methods.
As a former Field Artillery Army Officer, I see both sides of the argument. But after witnessing fellow servicemen and women battle post-traumatic stress disorder, I came to the conclusion that there was a better way to understand the psyche of those who are distressed. We hope you’ll find some common ground and bring some order to chaos in Washington, D.C.
Founder and CEO of NeuroFlow