Platform Position Papers
Quigley's Position On Mental Health
Position Paper: Mental Health in the US
Mental health in the US took two very different turns historically. First we saw John Kennedy’s last bill that made it easy to commit family members to asylums. Then we saw Reagan’s 1987 bill shutting down all these asylums. These bills played an important role in how mental health is handled by the US health system, or a lack of handling as currently there is an immense lack of mental health support for the US populace. Robert Quigley hopes to reverse the last bill, and install mental health hospitals or mental health wings in each state. This would not only help improve the mental health support provided by the government, but it will also lower crime. As evidenced in Welton and Rueye’s paper on violence and crime, there is a clear link to crime (violent and non-violence) and mental illness. However, this link is not because mental illness causes crimes. On the contrary, this link is very clearly a result of the lack of support that the mentally ill population receive. Welton and Rueye’s paper makes it extremely clear that that when mental illnesses go untreated there is an increased likelihood of a crime being committed by the mentally ill individual. Often the crime is banal, but it doesn’t discount the fact that if help was provided then the individual wouldn’t have committed the crime.
This very clearly underscores the importance of mental health support for the US population. It also highlights the benefits of Robert Quigley’s goal to open mental health institutions in every state as it will not only help out the population that is in dire need of help and support, but it will also show a decrease in crimes committed by mentally ill individuals. These institutions will act as a way to actually get help before its too late. A place that actually provides support.
Mental health hospitals in every state are an absolute necessity as the funding for state mental health support is extremely low, creating issues for those with both larger and smaller mental health struggles. Mental health is also health, and its important that as a nation we address an issue that plagues a huge portion of the population. These institutions won’t just be for severe inpatient cases, but also for those that wish to attend outpatient treatment.
A happy marriage between Kennedy’s bill and a newer outlook on mental health: state institutions designed to support.