The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) believes presidential candidate Mike Huckabee should apologize for a remark he made during an Iowa radio talk show on June 26. Talking about the recent Supreme Court rulings, Huckabee commented that Justice John Roberts "needs medication for schizophrenia."
"As political tactic, [former] Governor Huckabee has exploited the stigma that traditionally has surrounded mental illness in order to attack the competence and credibility of someone with whom he disagrees," said Mary Giliberti, executive director of NAMI, in a statement. "Such a remark would never be tolerated about needing chemotherapy for cancer or insulin for diabetes. It represents political 'stigma-slinging' at its worst.”
Giliberti believes using schizophrenia as a metaphor to win political points does a disservice to those who are diagnosed with the condition and often rely on medication as part of treatment and recovery.
"Stigma, perpetuated by any candidate's statement, can lead to people's reluctance to seek mental health care and devastating, even life threatening consequences," she continued.
NAMI hopes that all the presidential candidates will support policies for the improvement of the mental health system.