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We have to destigmatize this health care issue

For years, my brother, Jeff, bravely struggled with mental illness. Although he is no longer with us, I've spent my entire career trying to end the stigma around mental illness and ensure that every American has access to the care they need.

Talking about mental health is still stigmatized in our society. That's absolutely backwards given how many people struggle in silence, or without the help they need.

As you might already know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We need big, bold solutions to overhaul how we care for mental illness across our society, this month and beyond.

Those solutions include embracing the technology we have by making telehealth options for mental health care easier to access and fully covered by insurance. Telehealth has the potential to put mental health care within reach of millions who had trouble securing help even before the pandemic.

When my brother was alive, not a day went by when my family and I weren't concerned about Jeff posing a risk to himself or those around him. This struggle is a deeply personal topic for my family, but one I am compelled to share because silence only hurts the people still suffering.

And that's the heart of my promise to Jeff, and to every family living through these struggles: you are not alone, and I will always stand alongside you in this fight.

Join me on Facebook. Let's talk more about this critical issue of mental health care.

Ron

Posted on May 29, 2021.

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Meet Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden & Jeff Merkley at a health care rallyRon Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

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