By Emily Willingham
September 6, 2015
Interested in mental health? According to a recent poll, you probably are—just like the 90% of us in the U.S. who view mental health to be as important as physical health, the third of us who have trouble accessing mental health, and the 40% of us for whom mental health care costs are a barrier. In spite of widespread interest in mental health and the fact that almost half of the 2,000 people who responded to the poll thought they had a mental health condition, this critical issue—these are our brains and our behavior we’re talking about, after all—is barely on the radar of most of the 2016 presidential candidates.
To see what, if anything, candidates were saying about their stance on mental health and what they plan to do about something that touches the lives of just about every single person in the United States, I identified each candidate’s website and searched the site and performed a Google search on that domain using the terms “mental health” and “behavioral health.” This kind of search was necessary because the vast majority of candidates don’t provide search functions on their sites (a significant number of them don’t even provide issues statements. But you can buy things and donate!).