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NAMI calls for Huckabee apology

June 30, 2015
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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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.



I would like to thank NAMI National for speaking up on behalf of so many stakeholders within mental health on this issue. "...attacking the competence..." of anyone by framing a perceived negative perception of mental illness further stigmatizes mental illness and is a reflection of a very poor choice of words and conduct. If this comment by Huckabee is any kind of an illustration of how he would act as president, then, well I believe that particular thought warrants some consideration of his character.

Further, neither NAMI National nor anyone else ought to have had to bring this to light for Mr. Huckabee. Ideally, IMHO, he could have reflected and offered his own apology for those that may have found his comment offensive.

This may have an easy solution.

Never mind the apology.

Seems to me Huckabee is practicing medicine.

Is he an MD?

If, not, send out the hounds.