What’s Your Mental Health Care Wish for 2016?

We asked and you responded! Here are some of the great answers we received; please add your wish in the comments below. Let us know what you think!

Clare MillerI wish that more companies come to understand the incredible opportunity they have to reduce stigma and help people access needed treatment for mental illnesses.
Clare Miller, director of the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, APA Foundation

BarnesMy wish is that funding be provided for direct services on suicide prevention and intervention coupled with training. We spend far too much money on research in this area.
Donna Holland Barnes, PhD, PCC, Associate Professor, Howard University and Founder of NOPCAS, Inc.

Bob GebbiaMy wish is for emergency departments to better identify individuals at risk for suicide, intervene,and save lives. We know that 39 percent of people who die by suicide have been seen in an ED just months prior to their death, many for reasons other than suicidal ideation. More attention in the ED to mental health in 2016 would be a ‘wish come true.’
Bob Gebbia, CEO, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

MarlinThat policy makers, the news media and other opinion leaders will continue to recognize and support the important role that family members play as the first-line caregivers for loved ones with mental health issues.
Marlin Collingwood, Executive Director, Families for Depression Awareness

I wish that more people will realize that seeking mental health services is just as vital and acceptable as treating cavities and broken limbs. No part of our health needs to be entirely in our own hands. When we seek professional help for any kind of illness it’s a gift to ourselves and others.
Grace O’Donnell, Director of Elder Services, Framingham

Allen DoederleinMy wish for 2016 is that we see greater understanding and use of peer support and peer support services, which are evidence-based practices with the transformative power that only someone who’s “been there” can really provide. For we who have experienced mental health conditions and achieved wellness know that, rather than focusing on deficits, weaknesses, and symptoms, when we focus on building upon strengths and resiliencies, we create the right environment for self-directed care that people will stick with and from which they will truly achieve lasting positive change.
Allen Doederlein, President, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

My goal is to be happy and not need meds anymore.

MaryI wish that all mental health caregivers have the courage to think and step outside the box when dealing with those who suffer. I credit my recovery to those caregivers who were flexible about boundaries and brave enough to really care.
Mary Esther, suicide attempt survivor

That the world will start treating chronic and recurrent depression with the integrated, open-ended approach it needs.

My 2016 mental health care wish is for competent and accessible mental healthcare for ALL. All races, all genders, all sexualities, everyone.
Brittany, MSW Student

MichaelMy wish is for a system of care that provides for the accurate detection of mental suffering and universal availability of effective treatment for all in need of that care.
Michael Tsappis, M.D., Attending Psychiatrist, Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital

The people will get the care that they need to live productive lives again.  In addition, companies will continue to seek out alternative care for physical and mental well-being.
Tracy Honkonen, DBSA Florida Grassroots Organization (“GO”)

DNA testing is part of the initial intake to determine which medications may be appropriate for the individual.
WMWW – Which Meds Won’t Work

phyllisReduce the stigma that hinders advancement of wellness. When stigma is eradicated more people will seek treatment, funding for research and treatment will increase, and support for whole health will be fulfilled.
Phyllis Foxworth, Advocacy Vice President, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

SusanThat we see mental health care being integrated into primary care practice as one way to improve access and delivery and to reduce the stigma associated with mental health.
Susan Weinstein, Program Director, Families for Depression Awareness

Paul GionfriddoMy wish is that our policy leaders have the insight to put in place a mental health system that will change the trajectories of lives for the better – and that B4Stage4 thinking will be a key part of it.
Paul Gionfriddo, Mental Health America

Your Turn

  • What’s Your Mental Health Wish for 2016?

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My wish is that professionals working in mental hospitals reevalute the way they care for their patients. So many patients are traumatized by restraints, body searches and seclusion and come out of hospitals further traumatized and made worse due to the humiliation; mental hospitals should not treat patients like prisoners, they should hire the most compassionate staff possible, and doctors should spend quality time with their patients: not in and out in 10 minutes. I know mentally ill people who would rather kill themselves than go back to a hospital: that's how bad the care is. You are talking about people checking in at their most vunerable -- broken and in need of care. Mental caregivers should do that: CARE. Also, ECT, yes -- I've heard it's helpful to some, but doctors need to realize the long term damage it can cause: the memory loss, the shame, the horrible headaches: heck, the whole procedure can be violating. I know it makes doctors tons of money, but there's the patients well being to consider, too. I hope by the time I'm old and grey, I'll hear people say, "Can you believe mental hospitals were ever that way?"

shirley daivs
shirley daivs

@traumatizedpatient  amen to this one! I've been there and using these types of treatments(?) is not effective at all, in fact it only makes the person worse because you are removing the most effective tool a human needs in his toolbox to get well, dignity. Anyone, even a violent criminal, who is treated with dignity  and respect will respond in like kind. Treat someone with disturbing and less than human procedures and guess what you get, a less than human acting person. Tis type of nonsense must end NOW!

shirley daivs
shirley daivs

My mental health issue has been becoming more and more aware of the stigma involved with mental illness. Even though mental illness is not something someone chooses to have anymore than someone wakes up one day and decides to have cancer, it is looked upon as a weakness of character and a dramatic way to get the government and thus the taxpayers to pay our way. I've run into this even within my own family. We must make major inroads into fighting stigma in 2016 especially within the mental health system where it is at its worse. I know that sounds contradictory but it is all too true. I have had the actual experience of telling someone of my impending graduation from college who used to be a caretaker of mine in a group home situation. She turned around abruptly and walked away! I was insulted and hurt to say the least and very shocked. I have since graduated and am moving on even higher in my education but that scene haunts me. How many people are there out there who are seeking help but their providers do not believe they will ever be any better but will always be extra baggage that society must tolerate? We need to change our titles for people who live with a mental illness. Names have a tendency to label a person and being called a "consumer" is one of those terms. Just what am I consuming? Am I using up something and leaving behind only ashes like a bon fire burning out of control? We are overcomers, we are conquerers of seemingly insurmountable odds. We are the people who think outside of the box and we are the people who care enough for others to reach out unafraid of what will be said about us because we have been there ourselves. We as a society have two choices, we can go on ignoring the mental illnesses that plague our country or we can face them head on together and make sure that everyone who needs treatment gets a fair chance at getting it whether they are in the community or incarcerated. Do we want to be like Hitler's Germany and consider people who are not what we would like to consider "perfect humans" to be disposable and in need of a final solution? That's what is happening slowly but surly. I'm not saying anyone is saying kill all people who are "maladjusted" yet but isn't that the final conclusion of the train of thought we are on? This course can be changed because we are a good and honorable people here in the states. We reach out to the hurting and the hungry at Christmas time but what about he other times of the year? We must pull together as a nation because it can only be as strong as its weakest citizens just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Money spent on helping someone who is suffering from an illness such as depression or bipolar disorder is not money wasted, it is money invested in that persons future. It is money spent giving we who live with mental challenges a hand up NOT a hand out. Thank you for listening. As you can see I feel very passionate about what is happening In our country. Those who suffer the most are they who cannot find a voice. Someone must speak for them and I am one of those voices.


My wish for 2016 is that we will stop associating gun violence and mental health. Yes, mental health needs more attention and more funding - but it isn't because people with mental health conditions are committing crimes! I hope we can learn that distinction and get on with providing the support and services that are so needed - without the added stigma that being associated with acts of violence brings.


My wish for 2016 is for peer support services to be as routinely available in healthcare settings as social work, psychiatry, psychology, nursing, and other traditional services. But wishing won’t make it so – let’s use our collective power in 2016 to demand ready access to certified peer specialists who inspire hope, challenge old beliefs, and provide a solid range of life-saving services!


My wish is that society break the barriers and accept mental illness in general.  I have my own family members that have shunned my family because I have family members through marriage that are bipolar whom I love and support every day of my life.  The road has not been an easy one and it never is but we get through them.  My own mother speaks badly about my family members and she looks at them like they are a disease.  I wish she would realize that my loved ones are human beings who have feelings and deserve happiness, love and support just like everyone else in the world.  I meet people all kinds of people suffering from mental illness everyday and I always take the time out of my day to ask them how are things or how is their day going?  That makes all the difference in the world to preventing a suicide or breaking the ice just to listen to them.  My mother well I have not seen her in ages.  My family well they are my whole world I love them and take care of them some days are hard but I am happy to be with them.  

Tysha Monroe
Tysha Monroe

My wish for 2016 is to stabilize my moods more.

shirley daivs
shirley daivs

My greatest wish is to be invited to speak about mental illness, stigma, and of course recovery to more and more people. I find it impossible for me to be silent when I know first hand what many people are going through. I want to share my story of conquering the demons in my life that have almost destroyed me and that no one, including myself, thought I'd ever overcome. I wish to help others travel down the path less taken to success and peace. I would also wish to have my writing on this same subject go viral. That would be such an honor and thrill. Good luck everyone on your journeys next year!  

Aaron Cottrill
Aaron Cottrill

Three things:to know how to handle stress and other feelings, for my brother not to be creepy ( overaffectionate with our parents), to have grandparents that accept my mom(they never have,even since before I was born), for all the people I know to not be going through problems whether I caused them or not.


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