The conversation about mental health in America is one First Lady Michelle Obama refuses to ignore.
In a special editorial piece for The Huffington Post, FLOTUS shares why the mental heath of both children and army veterans is more important than ever, also explaining how the Affordable Care Act works with patients to help get the care they need.
The First Lady opens her piece with a story about a young veteran facing signs of acute post-traumatic stress disorder. Ryan Rigdon considered suicide after completing two tours in Iraq, but Obama explained how Joining Forces – the initiative she started with Dr. Jill Biden – helps to support both veterans and military families. Rigdon thankfully received the care he needed.
In her piece, she also salutes Her Royal Highness, Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge for her own initiative to highlight the importance of young children’s mental health. Both the First Lady and the Duchess wrote pieces as part of the Young Minds Matter editorial series for the site to raise awareness.
Michelle Obama also talked about the importance of acknowledging mental health troubles within families – instead of downplaying them:
Sadly, too often, the stigma around mental health prevents people who need help from seeking it. But that simply doesn’t make any sense. Whether an illness affects your heart, your arm or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there shouldn’t be any distinction. We would never tell someone with a broken leg that they should stop wallowing and get it together. We don’t consider taking medication for an ear infection something to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t treat mental health conditions any differently. Instead, we should make it clear that getting help isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s a sign of strength – and we should ensure that people can get the treatment they need.
Read more of her piece here and find out more about the five signs of mental health issues with the group Change Direction, here.