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We Need More: A Call for Action

we need a mental health call to actionDear Hillary,

Congrats on the Philadelphia convention. It had to feel good to accept the Democratic nomination. Even rumpled Bernie managed a smile!

With the Donald self-immolating, your likability ratings are cresting. Chelsea humanized you, and then you delivered a Hillary special: a heady, policy-laden convention speech.

Just please no more emails scandals.

Yes, yes, we know you are the pragmatic type. You will shush any talk of measuring the White House drapes. There is the afternoon debrief with Biden; the state dinner with Justin Trudeau. You view the world at 50 feet, not 50,000 feet.

But the polls don’t lie, particularly the ones in Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia.

So as an unofficial member of the (Psych Central) transition team, I am here to offer you advice.

First, though, let me thank you. You have been an unassailable champion for the overlooked and marginalized. You protected abused and neglected children at the Children’s Defense Fund; you advocated for quality, affordable health care as First Lady.

But we need more. We have a crisis on on our hands, one that is more serious than Trump’s demagoguery and more insidious than any GOP right-wing conspiracy.

Mental health is America’s unspoken epidemic. You have witnessed it firsthand. Look at your trusted aide, Vince Foster. Vince, as you know, battled debilitating depression before tragically taking his own life. He was as talented as any of your DC staffers.

You understand mental health and how it batters families and communities. You organized the first-ever White House Conference on Mental Health. You co-sponsored the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act in 2008. And your earnest, albeit ill-fated, attempt for quality, affordable health care presaged Affordable Care Act passage in 2010.

But we need more. And you know that.

Nearly 25 millions Americans face mental health obstacles. We risk stigmatization for public divulgence. Insurance carriers drop us unceremoniously. Family members question our veracity.

As the next Commander in Chief, we need you to uphold another solemn oath: mental health champion.

There has been incremental progress. Because of you and your colleagues’ tenacity, the majority of Americans are now covered under federal parity law. As a result, cultural perceptions toward mental health have evolved. Mental health is a biological oddity, not a character flaw. From starlet Demi Lovato to comedian Drew Carey, Hollywood comedians have mainstreamed mental health.

But we need more. And you know that.

We are three months away from D-Day. And the mental health community is waiting, with bated breath, for a comprehensive plan. You tease with well-timed applause lines. In Philadelphia, you chastised my native state for shuttering mental health hospitals. Jubilant chants rained down on you — deservedly so. But now is the time to play offense, not defense, on mental health issues. We are exhausted of mental health cowering us — and politicians — into silence.

We know that you get it. To paraphrase the future First Man, “You feel our pain.” Now, more than ever, is the time to act. When the Donald impugns your mental health, you fire back — not with stinging rebukes about the Hairpiece’s narcissism but with a comprehensive mental health plan for all Americans.

We need more. And you know that.

Give 25 million Americans a reason to #StandWithHillary this November and January.


A trusted advisor

Joe Seer/Bigstock

We Need More: A Call for Action

Matthew Loeb

Matthew Loeb, a Seattle-based attorney, is a mental health advocate. You can contact him at

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APA Reference
Loeb, M. (2018). We Need More: A Call for Action. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 19 Aug 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.