Rejecting the Stigma around Mental Health

Mental Health and Substance Use often have a stigma attached. People who have a diagnosis sometimes don’t want to get treatment because people think they are “crazy.” Stigma is a reason these issues are not discussed when things like shootings happen. But why not talk about it? 

In March of 2020, the entire US went into quarantine. We were told “don’t go out except for essential services,” or “don’t go to the store as a family, only send one person.” But what did this do to us? The isolation started taking a toll on everyone from the beginning. Mental health and substance use facilities transitioned to virtual meetings to continue supporting people. But the isolation took away the face-to-face support that everyone needed. Interactions became sterile and lost their feeling. The consequences of being alone are being felt by everyone.  

Isolation changed our world. It took away human contact, which we crave when we are down or feeling bad. For people in substance use recovery, it takes away a vital support that helps them avoid their substance of choice. The isolation also causes hopelessness. Watching people die and get sick in growing numbers made us feel like this would never end. For people with mental health and substance use issues it reinforced their feelings of dread and hopelessness. This led to an increase in suicides, relapse, and more. It is not clear the total increase in suicides in 2020, and it will take time to measure the total impact. A quick look at the news and you see the number of overdoses increasing. 

Everyone is afraid to ask for help. We are told not to ignore things like signs of a heart attack or other physical issues. But no one is saying, “let’s talk about signs of depression because you can’t see the loved ones who support you.” Or “let’s talk about how to avoid triggers and not call your dealer.” The other issue that is not being talked about is how, in the last year more potent and potentially fatal substances are being mixed. People believe they are taking marijuana and get fentanyl, a powerful opioid. Things are scary for everyone, but we must start the conversation. 

Now is the time to rebuild support systems. Instead, news programs and politicians focus on shock issues like gun control and gun rights. Let’s talk about the issues that help prevent people from using guns to express themselves. Mass shooters often have substance use problems, abuse alcohol, struggle with society, and guns become a powerful tool against themselves and others. Therapists and social workers can help people deal with those issues. 

After a year of isolation, it’s time to focus on mental health again. And not just for a little while, permanently. Everyone needs it but nobody wants to talk about it, and we must. Don’t let there be a stigma. Ask your family, friends, and co-workers how they are and mean it. 

Mass shootings, Letter to your Congressman

In the wake of the Colorado and Georgia mass shootings MITM is beginning a letter writing campaign to promote Mental Health & Substance Abuse funding by Congress. Gun control is not the answer and all of the intensified conflict it generates only distracts from the problem.

Did you know that all members of Congress now strongly discourage the use of traditional mail? However, if you search for your congressperson’s Contact Form you will be able to select the issue you are writing about and then paste in the letter below, or write your own version. We should be flooding their email servers until we get them to focus on the real problem.

Thank you for supporting MITM. It’s not about money. Support comes from following us on Twitter @mitm4america and using the hashtag #MeetintheMiddle when tweeting about or to your Senators and Representatives. Contact every member of Congress in the time you have available.

Senator [Last name]

Mass shootings are a Mental Health issue, not a weapon design problem. It’s a physiological and psychological imbalance that can be treated. The more we focus on gun control the more we ignore the source of the problem. Americans want guns but I guarantee they don’t want bipolar disease, depression, and psychosis to be ignored.

Meet in the middle with your colleagues in Congress. Sponsor legislation and be a hero for the people. Mental Health funding and awareness comes from the heart and voters will respond to that.

Threatening gun control makes some citizens angry. Promising unlimited and powerful weaponry just frightens others. Both scenarios are extremism and completely miss the point.

Funding Mental Health & Substance Abuse is full of wisdom and supports the economy. Think about it. Happy healthy people are more productive and prosperous. Prosperity leads to job growth, which generates tax revenue and GDP will increase. Funding Mental Health will pay for itself. Conversely, division smothers progress and happiness.

Be a hero to your constituents and all Americans. Fund MH&SA today.

Thank you.

Judson Gilbert, PharmD, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Meet in the Middle for America

MITM is Seeking Bloggers

Meet in the Middle for America is looking for new voices to contribute their words to our cause. We need a diverse group of writers who have an opinion and want to express their ideas for a common good. Background and politics can be conservative, liberal, or independent, as long as you believe in the mission of MITM.

Here’s the concept: Bring together writers from all across the United States. MITM assigns an issue that is challenging our political leadership to a pair of writers. Topics can be legislative, like the American Rescue Plan, or a subject of conflict, like the Keystone XL Pipeline. Each pair of writers will blog their opinion and suggestions in about 500 words. Then MITM attempts to condense those views and, you guessed it, find a way to Meet in the Middle.

Each writer will publish under their own name and their bio will be featured on our ‘About’ page.

This method will do something that Fox News and CNN don’t do anymore, which is to give both sides of the story. Prior to 1987, the Fairness Doctrine required that licensed broadcasters give an honest, equal and balanced representation of controversial issues. The Federal Communications Commission eliminated the rule and now we have entire networks dedicated to the division of America.

Fairness Doctrine
Law or no law. Fair and balanced is the right thing to do.

Let’s create a forum that seeks to bring both ends of the political spectrum back to the middle. MITM can be a positive and constructive influence as we continue to look for candidates to support who will do the same. If you are a writer who needs a forum in which to share your ideas, send an email to mitm4america@gmail.com. Tell us which direction your political philosophy leans and what subjects interest you. As a contributor to MITM you can be part of the solution.

Michael Wood (R)

Candidate for the Texas 6th Congressional District

MITM supports Maj. Michael Wood (USMC).  Candidate Wood says “We were once a party of ideas, but we have devolved into a cult of personality. This must end, and Texas must lead the way.”  MITM couldn’t agree more.  Visit http://www.michaelwoodforcongress.com and show your support.

Major Wood, a decorated combat veteran in Afghanistan, is a believer in traditional conservative values with an eye to the future.  The MBA educated leader is a dedicated son of Texas and married with four daughters.  He is running to replace Ron Wright, who passed away in January of cancer with COVID complications.

On the issues he believes that wasteful large-scale federal government needs to take a back seat to State authority, who can accomplish many of the same things more efficiently.  Federal government is best suited for defense of the United States against China.  Although the destruction of ISIS is critical, we must remain focused on those across the Pacific.

Major Wood believes Texas and the Keystone XL Pipeline should be much more prominent in the production of energy in the US.  “President Biden was wrong to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, and by doing so, he likely killed many jobs for American workers.” 

On the economy he believes that lower taxes will be the boost our economy needs.  Trade with China should be more restricted and trade agreements with Canada need repaired.  At the same time traffic from Mexico should be strictly controlled. “Yes, I support a wall on our southern border but we need much more than that. We need a “full court press” of resources (law enforcement and judicial) sent south in order to stabilize and bring order to our southern border.”  He believes immigration to the US should be based on merit.

In his consideration of Congress, Michael believes this branch of government must become the “supreme branch of our federal government.” In the last few decades, since 9/11, we have seen the power of the executive branch grow immensely.  Abuse of the reconciliation system and the thinnest majority in history has allowed the Biden Administration to spend massive amounts of money that force up the deficit.  This broken system means that entitlements and immigration problems never get fixed as the current political leaders spend much of their time on social media and on television.

There is so much common sense built into Michael Wood’s political belief system.  He is also pro-life, pro-gun ownership by the people, and believes in unrestricted religious practice.  If this sounds like what a Republican Conservative should be then VOTE for Michael Wood in the Texas 6th Congressional District special general election on May 1, 2021.

“Own the Libs!”

The Urban Dictionary says that when you have ‘owned’ someone you have “total and undeniable dominance to make them one’s bitch. To dominate the person completely, to humiliate them, to be physically or mentally disgraced.”  Is that what happened to Trump on November 3, 2020?

Let’s be clear.  Nobody has owned anyone since the first Civil War.  Yes, I said ‘first’.  If people like Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Donald Trump himself get their way, we could have a second.  The January 6th attempted sedition and attack on the US Capital is proof of that.  There are a percent of MAGA supporters who are desperate for it. 

There will be many in the United States who oppose the seditionists.  About half of the US owns a gun!  We as a nation have forgotten that the purpose behind an armed citizenry is to oppose dictatorship and foreign occupation.  Remember Patrick Swayze and Chris Hemsworth in each of their roles in the movie Red Dawn (1984, 2012)?  THAT is why we own guns! Wait, I forgot hunting and stuff.

Americans do not have guns to fight each other.  When Lauren Boebert used the gunshot sound effects in her Nancy Pelosi attack ad, she was telegraphing the use of guns against our own government and the voting majority who put that government into place.

Time for a reality check.  We don’t advocate for shooting people because we don’t like what they say.

Anyway, back to “Owning the Libs!” Utah Governor Spence Cox said, “There’s more to being a conservative than just owning the libs.” I couldn’t agree more.  He also said, “I still believe in a Republican Party and a conservatism that lifts everyone and really is about opportunity for everyone, and we don’t do that by turning people away or ruining people’s lives or again just these fake controversies, these false choices that we keep presenting people.”

Former Governor of South Carolina and Trump’s Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said of the term Own the libs, “…are you persuading anyone? Who are you persuading? We’ve all been guilty of it at some point or another, but this kind of speech isn’t leadership — it’s the exact opposite.”

Denial of the core values of conservative thought while playing silly games like “Own the Libs” is not getting us anywhere.  It’s immature.  That’s what the GOP has become under Donald Trump.  A bunch of back-biting juveniles all wound up in their own drama while THOSE LIBERALS they detest are running the country and getting us back on track after the COVID Pandemic.

It’s time to reject those juveniles who make a mockery of our political process. Donald Trump and his minions must be left in the history books.  There are new thinkers on the right and the left who reject the immaturity and want to get back to leadership. 

If you believe it’s time to back back to real government leadership visit the MITM home page at https://mitm4america.com. Read what MITM is about and consider a few dollars to help get America back to responsible government.

Oppose “Fight Back Now America PAC”

Corey Lewandowski wants to fight! The New Hampshire resident, and a Trump loyalist, is starting a new PAC (FBNA) to support ‘America First’ candidates. Not surprisingly, the first targets are Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. Also not surprising is that Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, may be among the first candidates supported by the PAC if she runs for the Senate in North Carolina.

Richard Burr (R-NC) voted to impeach Trump. After CPAC21 it was made very clear that if he wasn’t retiring he would have been a target. In Trump’s future fascist state there is no room for anyone to think independently. They must worship the golden Oompa Loompa.

Lara Trump will be a perfect automaton (a relatively self-operating machine designed to automatically follow a predetermined sequence of operations, or respond to predetermined instructions). It’s obvious that every candidate chosen by FBNA must be of this same mold or the far-right Trump supporters will shun them.

The philosophy of FBNA will be to find fighters. Just like the fist pumping Josh Hawley (R-MO) who helped light off the riot of January 6th, 2021. There’s no question that FBNA will raise huge sums of money because they are backed by Trump. And they will spend it all to bully fair minded candidates out of the way to continue building the Trump Army.

Josh Hawley inciting the crowd 01/06/2021

Meet In The Middle For America (MITM) takes a different approach. We look for candidates who will work for the people. A politician’s first loyalty is to The Constitution of the United States. And their second loyalty is only supposed to be the constituents they represent, including the ones that didn’t vote for them. Of course spirituality is also important. No denying that.

MITM needs your help to oppose Trump’s fascism, Corey Lewandowski, and the FBNA. His ideals are bent! He worships the wrong deity, and a self-proclaimed deity at that, and his chosen disciples will do the same. MITM will support any opposition to Lara Trump and others like her. Instead, we will support those who continue to tell the truth about Trump and are willing to #MeetInTheMiddle. He listed them all specifically at CPAC21 making it clear they were targets.

As always, MITM will support candidates who: Vote the will of their constituents, collaborate with the opposition, and promote conservative causes with integrity and honesty.

If you believe the GOP must reform into a party of conservative voters protecting the future, then support MITM today. Don’t let one man who thrives on conflict continue to fracture the GOP. Don’t forget, Trump used to be a Democrat (Is Donald Trump Really a Democrat or Republican? (thoughtco.com). Look it up. He chose to run as a Republican because he could use the faith-based GOP to further his own agenda and for his own entertainment.

Now look where where we are.

Objective: Support candidates who focus on advancing conservative issues through compromise

The time has come to focus on progress and not extremism. 

‘We the People’ need to create a political landscape fueled by unbiased truth and honesty and not twisted ideology based on fear and misplaced worship.  The strength of Donald Trump came from his willingness to publicize his own extreme beliefs.  He quite successfully manipulated a population that was poorly educated and lacked diversity, who saw him as the embodiment of their own beliefs.  On February 24, 2016 Mr. Trump said, “I love the poorly educated.”  Being poorly educated doesn’t mean people are dumb.  But education is how we learn about and become exposed to the rest of the world.  This experience leads to enlightenment and tolerance. The ex president gave people permission to leave civility and tolerance behind and that must STOP!

‘We the People’ have survived the last 4 years through pure resilience.  The COVID Pandemic has created a revolution of sorts.  We rebel against intolerance and extremism and need to move to the middle with those who can debate and compromise. The 2020 election of Joe Biden showed how the majority stood up and voted for truth over lies and deception.  We voted for people who followed the science and cared about how we as a nation prospered.  We wanted the guy who would make the unpopular decisions instead of the guy who pretended that nothing was wrong.

‘We the People’ need to support candidates who have the integrity to stand up and say “I will not be bullied and threatened.  I will embrace the truth.  I will oppose those who twist the Constitution of the United States.  I will vote the will of my constituents.  And I will side with the people of the United States and not a political party.”

Meet In The Middle for America (MITM4AMERICA) is dedicated to the support of candidates who can get behind this credo.  Every movement must start somewhere.  There were 10 Republican House Representatives who voted on the Article of Impeachment:

  1. Liz Cheney, Wyoming
  2. Tom Rice, South Carolina
  3. Dan Newhouse, Washington
  4. Adam Kinzinger, Illinois
  5. Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio
  6. Fred Upton, Michigan
  7. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Washington
  8. Peter Meijer, Michigan
  9. John Katko, New York
  10. David Valadao, California

There were 7 Republican Senators who voted to convict:

  1. Richard Burr, North Carolina (Retiring)
  2. Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
  3. Susan Collins, Maine
  4. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
  5. Mitt Romney, Utah
  6. Ben Sasse, Nebraska
  7. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania (Retiring)

Each of these 17 politicians showed allegiance to the Constitution and a dedication and respect for ‘We the People’.  They rejected a tyrant and stood up to do the right thing.

‘We the People’ must find many more like them.