Behavioral healthcare provider organizations were not passive observers of Election 2008. Many helped clients and staff sign up to vote and provided educational materials and meetings. Below is a sampling of these activities at member organizations of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare.
At the Maple City Health Care Center in Goshen, Indiana, staff helped register 30, mostly Latino, voters. They even checked the county’s voter registration database to ensure all of the people they helped were indeed registered. Upon discovering two that were not, they worked with the county and the clients to rectify the problems.
McCain and Obama tied the vote in a mock election at Heartland Human Services in Effingham, Illinois. Staff and clients participated and shared refreshments.
Two local candidates participated in a roundtable discussion at Southwest Behavioral Health Center’s Oasis House in Cedar City, Utah. Members of the clubhouse for people with serious mental illness also attended a voter information seminar.
Staff and clients practiced using voting machines at one of Family Services of Western Pennsylvania’s sites before the April primary. Throughout the rest of the campaign the agency engaged clients in voting activities, including having 35 staffers and clients meet with state legislators.
And, of course, many were vested in the outcomes of local funding issues.