Prioritizing Family and Mental Health
In the U.S., more than three million children are abused every year. And violence continues into adulthood. Every minute, 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. Too many children and spouses live in war zones within their own homes. We can’t ignore this threat any longer. We must provide mental and emotional care to our families, children, parents and partners. The well-being of our nation depends on it.
Why We Need It
An incident of child abuse is reported every ten seconds. For survivors, the trauma can last a lifetime. They’re 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime. Those who reported six or more adverse childhood experiences had an average life expectancy two decades shorter than those who didn’t report that level of trauma. Additionally, one in three women and one in four men have experienced domestic violence. Stressors aren’t just limited to the family. One of the leading causes of stress is money, with over 75% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. The immediate safety and long-term health of every American is at stake.
When we do seek care, we’re often impeded by insurance limitations. 45% of psychiatrists aren’t on insurance networks at all, limiting care to only those who can afford it out-of-pocket. With a lack of awareness and access to care, Americans’ mental health crises become permanent obstacles to love, justice, and financial freedom. We must provide the tools and resources that our families, parents, children and partners need to stop this cycle of abuse and physical violence for each other.
What We Are Fighting For
We must care for the mental and emotional health of our families. That requires big, bold action, not just mere moments of national reflection. We need single payer healthcare coverage for all families, including coverage for mental and emotional care. We must provide free counseling to parents and partners, in addition to free therapy to every family. We need to introduce mindfulness and meditation practices that are scientifically proven to calm the amygdala, the source of anger, stress, and aggression, allowing us to be more calm, focused, clear and responsive. When we provide mental health support, we start healing the trauma, hurt and pain that we carry inside. We start thinking, operating and living life more fully, clearly and wholeheartedly. By caring for the mental health of every person in every family, we’ll bring transformative change to our community.
What It Will Do
Care for the mental and emotional health of every family will kindle love. We’ll decrease the incidence of child abuse and domestic violence drastically. That decrease will better physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health, as domestic violence and child abuse have been linked to anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, pain, cancer, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, as well as alcohol and drug use. By empowering our children to be the best versions of themselves through mindfulness and meditation, we’ll close the school-to-prison pipeline. We’ll save $8-12 billion a year by preventing the economic loss fueled by domestic violence and child abuse.
It’s time to take care of our families. We ought to measure our country’s success not by the growth of the stock market, but by the health of our communities.