“We need a new moon shot. Instead of going to outer space we need to go to inner space.”
Spoken like a true Kennedy.
“Neuroscientists today are like our astronauts.”
From autism to Parkinson’s disease to depression those neuroscientists are heroes changing lives explained former Rhode Island Congressman, Patrick Kennedy, the son of deceased Massachusetts Senator, Ted Kennedy. He told the audience at Grand Rapids Amway Grand Plaza Hotel mental health care should be the nation’s new Sputnik. Mental health care treated in terms of homeland security. Driving the point home the lack of mental health care military veterans are receiving.
“And they came home, and what do they call the signature wound of the war? Invisible. Now what’s a veteran supposed to think of their wound when someone calls it invisible? How are they supposed to feel about it? Well, as you might suspect, 18 veterans take their own life a day in this country.”
The co-sponsor of the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008, Kennedy struggles with bi-polar disorder and depression. The reality is there needs to be greater access to mental health care in the country.
As Michigan’s Lt. Governor Brain Calley pointed out, it can’t fall to the criminal justice system.
“The state is the largest provider in the state of mental health services through Medicaid but unfortunately also through our prison system.”
A deficiency Michigan leadership is working to correct.
“We can do better for people who come in contact with the criminal justice system. We’re not talking about hardened criminals here. We’re talking about people with issues and problems that we can fix.”
Calley chairs the Michigan Mental Health and Wellness Commission. He says it takes having systems in place similar to more mainstream physical health care.
Filling the need and working toward eliminating the stigma associated with mental health is Hope Network. President and CEO Phil Weaver and his staff served more than 20,000 patients last year
“We are here today to continue the discussion and learn to understand how mental illness contributes to the issues of violence to cancer to divorce and bankruptcy. It’s estimated that the cost to Michigan are more than $5 billion in lost productivity every year.”
For Weaver addressing mental health care is to get everyone “To focus on integrating the delivery of total healthcare.”
More WGVU News
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