Post-pandemic, the state of mental health in the United States has deteriorated significantly, with US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy classifying the country’s mental health levels as follows: Loneliness and isolation as a public health crisis.
But former first lady Rosalynn Carter, who died Sunday at the age of 96 at her home in Plains, Georgia, was an advocate for mental health long before 2020.
Carter recognized early on that there was a disconnect between people with mental health conditions and those without. Reports say that when the former first lady was young, she remembered that she had a distant cousin who suffered from mental illness and that his presence terrified her. CNN.
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“He probably wanted nothing more than friendship and recognition. But he was different. And when I heard his story, I wanted to run away,” she wrote in her memoirs. I am writing to.
Reflecting on her own reaction, Carter recognized the need to improve care for people living with mental illness, like her cousin, and spent much of her time in the White House advocating for mental health. .
She held her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, now 99, to the same standards. She said Carter once waited in line to shake her hand at her husband’s rally.
According to the “What Are You Doing Here?” article, Mr. Carter asked when he had seen her in line. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
“I’m here to see what you’re going to do to help people with mental illness if you become governor,” she responded.
Jimmy Carter responded by saying he aims to be the “best mental health program in the country” and appointing Rosalynn to lead it.
While Jimmy served as Governor of Georgia, Rosalyn was a member of the Governor’s Commission to Improve Services for the Mentally and Emotionally Ill.
In 1977, she and her husband, then president of the United States, established the President’s Commission on Mental Health. However, Rosalin was unable to accept the position of chairman from the Department of Justice. She said this was because she received notice that a close relative of the president would not be allowed to chair the committee. CNN.
“But I have no problem with you being appointed honorary president,” she told reporters. “Therefore, I will be very active as chairman emeritus.”
But Carter’s work didn’t stop at PCMH.she too testified before Congress Advocated for improved mental health reform in 1979. She became the second first lady to testify before Congress, following Eleanor Roosevelt.
During Jimmy Carter’s presidency, he and Rosalyn established 123 community mental health centers, she said. JFK Presidential Library and Museum In an interview.
“These were by no means comprehensive. Some were just offices in the middle of small towns,” she said. “But in many cases, it was just an office with a phone so someone could ask for help and find out where to go.”
The couple also founded Carter Centeris a non-governmental organization dedicated to improving lives, founded in 1982, just one year after President Carter’s term ended.Organizations have their own mental health program According to the Carter Center’s website, the organization aims to “bring together health leaders and organizations to discuss important public policy issues facing mental health and substance use care systems at the national and state levels.” It is said that
“Twenty-five years ago, we never dreamed that one day people would actually be able to recover from mental illness,” Rosalynn Carter said in her talk. Mental health symposium Back in 2003.
“Today, that’s a very real possibility.”
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