Help Pass the Mental Health Reform Act

Help Pass the Mental Health Reform Act

Making a difference is as simple as a tweet.

I know the cool thing to do on the Internet nowadays is bash 2016 and say it's been a bad year for our government, but it hasn't been ALL bad. In fact, in the world of mental health policy, 2016 shaped up pretty good. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act passed the House in July, and it helped solve many of the administrative woes people struggling with mental illnesses deal with, including codification of Medicaid coverage for inpatient mental health care, HIPAA education programs, reports and transparency on parity, and grant programs.

The bill was a great step in the right direction, but we can't stop there.

The bill’s counterpart in the Senate, The Mental Health Reform Act (S.2680) still needs to pass this year, and if it doesn't pass both the House AND the Senate soon, the process will start all over, because Congress is about to have a major turnover thanks to the election. If it doesn't pass before the "lame duck" period, all the momentum will be lost, and all the advocacy and voting up to this point will have been for nothing.

1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental health problems, and 73% of Americans say lack of access to mental health care is a problem in our country. This bill will expand access to mental health services, increase suicide prevention efforts in schools, increase the mental health workforce, integrate health and mental health care, strengthen the community crisis response system, and so much more. It would make a positive difference in the lives of 44 million Americans.

There are SO many ways you can help ensure this bill gets through Congress! If you have time, a phone message to your Senator is easy. Dial (202) 224-3121. Press #1 and enter your zip code. It's also easy to write a letter to your Senator's office.

The most college-student friendly way to get involved, however, is as simple as a tweet! Most Senators are on Twitter now. Its how they stay #hip and #turnt. Use a hashtag to help ensure your tweet is seen. Something as simple as "Dear @(Senator’s twitter handle)- I urge you to help support the #MentalHealthReform Act, S.2680" can make a difference, not only in getting the bill passed but also in spreading awareness, as followers of both yourself and your Senator will see you advocating for mental health reform.

I know it seems like Senators ignore these things, but they don't. Believe it or not, most Senators have a heart, and they want to do what their constituents want. Mental health affects so many of us, and this bill will help those who suffer get past all the administratie and legislative hurtles they currently face, not to mention it will increase education and outreach so in the future, less people will have to struggle with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, drug abuse and more. Senators are meant to represent our voices, so reach out to yours and make sure your voice is heard.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?


Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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