Mental Health Advocacy – This is what I sent today (w/bonus requests)

Dear Senator Booker, 

I’m writing to you as both a concerned New Jerseyan and American. I chose to write to you because you have inspired and touched me. When you spoke at this past Democratic Convention I was brought to tears. You seem to have a combination of admirable passion, caring, respectability, and effectiveness. I believe you make a great difference for New Jerseyans and all Americans, and can make an even bigger one in the future. 

I am a woman with a serious mental illness (bipolar disorder). I have been on disability for about six years plus struggling with my illness. Despite that, I’ve donated time (when able) and money (what I could) to organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance that provide support to the mentally ill, do advocacy work, and fight to end mental illness stigma. I can only give so much. In reality, my husband’s and my financial situation is quite taxed given my years on disability, my multiple hospitalizations, and other medical bills. We are even considering moving abroad (he has a joint citizenship with a country in Europe), because we don’t believe we could survive well into retirement in the U.S.  That saddens both of us that another country may give us more security and possible opportunities. We love the U.S. My husband immigrated here with hopes of the American Dream. 

I’m writing to you to ask for the following help to: 

  • Improve access to quality mental health treatment for everyone in need.
  • Fight Donald Trump’s plans to defund scientific research of various sorts, including for new medical treatments.
  • Attain mental health parity with that of physical illnesses, AND ensure that every American has medical insurance coverage. Single payer. Senator Bernie Sanders is right that it’s not a pipe dream or “pony”, like Hilary Clinton said.
  • Encourage government officials to stop demonization/prejudice against the mentally ill, encourage education (or more of it) about mental illnesses in schools, police forces and media, and stop police from getting away with shooting unarmed people of all colors and mental states.
  • Improve treatment of the mentally ill in jails and prisons, and prevent cruel/unnecessary imprisonment of mentally ill that otherwise can and should be treated in hospitals or other support programs. 

I do not like hatred and cruelty of any kind. No exceptions! I try to even look at the worst of criminals as people who were sadly misguided, or turned to hatred because of mistreatment or poor early life conditions (socio-economic, abuse, or other). It frightens me to see and hear racism, prejudice and other verbal vitriol growing, and not absolutely shunned by the government.

Please help to make America even greater! We are already great in so many ways. Let’s move forward and not backwards.

Change starts with the constituents. Your vote is crucial. If you don’t vote, your wishes may not even stand a chance to be heard. You can also be heard by writing to your representatives, attending Town Halls, peaceful marches, and many other ways. We don’t want lousy legislation to pass that only benefits a small minority. Remember what the truly most important issues are that affect the majority, and please have mercy on those in need. Progress moves only one-way. Forward. Not backwards.

To write to your congressman or woman (if in the U.S.), find their contact information at

Interested in writing to your senator (if in the U.S.)? Find their contact information at

15 thoughts on “Mental Health Advocacy – This is what I sent today (w/bonus requests)

  1. Nel November 28, 2017 / 11:48 pm

    Great letter Cindy! I hope he reads it and shares it with all the important ppl in Washington.

    Liked by 2 people

    • updownflight November 28, 2017 / 11:51 pm

      I certainly hope so, too! Maybe if I’m lucky he’ll become president someday and remember everything I asked him to do 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • updownflight November 30, 2017 / 1:48 am

        Thanks, Robert! I even wrote my congressman, too. That letter was slightly different since he’s a Republican.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Robert Matthew Goldstein November 30, 2017 / 2:05 am

        Make calls, send faxes and write. If we don’t use our rights we’ll lose them! It takes energy and time but it’s worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight November 30, 2017 / 2:35 am

        Yes, we definitely need to. I’ll try to do so once per month.

        Your comment reminded me of the movie Shawshank Redemption, when the character Andy kept writing somewhere over and over again for years for more books for the prison library. Eventually they couldn’t take one more of his letters so sent him boxes and boxes of books, plus records and a record player. I think they asked him to stop writing, but he didn’t. The library at Shawshank was among the best around. I think he celebrated by playing a beautiful operatic piece over the prison intercom. It was a beauty that he and all of the other inmates enjoyed for what seemed like hours instead of minutes. He got a bit in trouble, but it was worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

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