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STATEMENT BY DAVID SILLS, President NAMI Queens/Nassau

By the nature of our mission and vision, NAMI Queens/Nassau believes in a basic sense of decency and humanity.

We understand and accept how the majority of our fellow Americans feel. We need to heal together and fight racism and discrimination. Discrimination based on national origin. Discrimination based on the color of one’s skin. Discrimination based on religion. Discrimination based on wealth. Discrimination based on education. Discrimination based on mental health conditions. Oddly enough, mental illness does not discriminate. All groups of peoples are affected by mental illnesses.

We know how words and actions and inactions affect people.

We vow to stand with our national and local communities and mourn the death of George Floyd and others unjustly discriminated against, harmed, or killed before or since.

There are many forms of mental health discrimination. We are aware of these and advocate for changes. Health Care Coverage (Payment for mental health treatment does not equal payment for physical health treatment.) Mental health care (Minority and lower economic groups to do not have equal access to appropriate mental health treatment.) Employment.  Housing.  Criminal Justice (Often people in the midst of a mental health crisis are imprisoned because of their actions while ignoring the causes of their behavior. Imprisoned people with mental health issues should not be placed in solitary confinement. Nor should others. Prisoners with mental health issues should receive adequate care and medicines.)

NAMI’s CEO, Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. has said: “The effect of racism and trauma is real and cannot be ignored. The disparity in mental health care in communities of color cannot be ignored. The inequality and lack of cultural competency in mental health treatment can not be ignored.”

WE ALL WALK TOGETHER !

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