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Despite great progress toward understanding the causes and treatments for mental illnesses, our nation’s health care system continues to fail people living with these conditions. And no one is more passionate or persuasive on the matter than Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who has been a driving force in the field of mental health throughout her public service career.
Carter has been deeply invested in this issue since her husband’s gubernatorial campaign, when she saw firsthand the horrific dehumanizing treatment those with mental illnesses endured. Carter writes, “Americans think of ourselves as decent, generous and compassionate people and for the most part we are. But we treat a large portion of our own population as if they are second class citizens. Ultimately, the way we treat people with mental illnesses in our society is a moral issue—to neglect those, who through no fault of their own, are in need runs counter to our core principles—the values of decency and equality that we hold dear.”
Carter will highlight populations keenly shortchanged: children, the elderly, the poor, those affected by trauma (everyone from Katrina victims to veterans), and those trapped in the criminal justice system, among others. Through deeply personal reflections, based on her years of advocacy, Carter will illustrate why these groups are suffering and reveals the solutions we can implement now to remedy the situation.
WITHIN OUR REACH is a seminal, deeply personal and ultimately optimistic look at America’s mental health odyssey—how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go.
Our purpose in inviting Mrs. Carter to our community is to inspire the residents of our area to further commit to the common cause of serving “the most vulnerable among us” and provide the support that will fully empower them to live a life of grace and dignity.
Community Treatment, Inc.(COMTREA) - Dr Stephen F. Huss, President/CEO
Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis(BHN) - Diane McFarland,Chief Executive Director
Alliance on Mental Illness - NAMI St. Louis - Jackie Lukitsch, Executive Director
Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri(MHA) - Mark Utterback, CEO