In recognition of National Caregivers Month (November), Mental Health America (MHA) and the Temple Collaborative for Community Inclusion of People with Psychiatric Disabilities (TU Collaborative) announced the release of their most recent project, entitled Community Inclusion from the Perspective of Caregivers. Reflecting caregivers’ frustration, fear, hope, and love for those they care for, this monograph highlights and expounds upon the views expressed in a 2016 survey of almost five-hundred caregivers of people with mental health conditions. Caregivers shared their perspectives in thousands of comments on topics such as access to treatment, services, and housing; employment and finances; education and supports; friendships and intimate relationships; religion and spiritually; recreation and community events; and health and wellness. This monograph offers a close up view of the entrenched stigma and barriers that caregivers say their loved ones, and that they also, experience that impact many aspects of their lives. Caregivers want providers, community institutions and the public to help foster more community inclusion for their loved ones, and for themselves. They call on policy makers and legislators to address structural issues, such as poverty, lack of transportation, and entrenched discrimination, and they implore educators, employers and the general public to become more educated about mental health issues, and to be more supportive, understanding and compassionate.
Mental Health America understands that racism undermines mental health. Therefore, we are committed to anti-racism in all that we do. This means that we pledge to work against individual racism, interpersonal racism, and institutional racism in all their forms.