During this election season The Connecticut Mirror is convening groups of people from around the state to ask their opinions on key campaign issues and their perceptions of the appropriate role of government. The participants in each group share a common circumstance or stage of life: University of Connecticut students, people with children in Bridgeport, and people who qualify as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) in Waterbury.
In this installment, we asked people living with a behavioral health challenge in the New Haven area the following question: If you could make one suggestion to the gubernatorial candidates, what would it be?
Here are their responses, edited for length and clarity (See earlier responses here):
Danny Sheehan: My friend was at one of the debates and he said not one of the three candidates said anything about mental health. There needs to be more gun control but not that interferes with the Constitution. I’ve had friends die from shootings. We need stronger restrictions, but we shouldn’t get rid of guns or arm teachers.
Louise Hunsicker: My friend is afraid DSS will take her SNAP [food stamps] away. I make $192 on SNAP and I thank God for it. DSS needs better staffing. I need a good case manager.
Mark Orcutt: I brought up subject of mental health and addiction to a state rep candidate who said “we’ll talk about that later.” Politicians have no idea how to deal with the problem. Why is insurance so difficult to understand? I don’t understand what half this stuff is… it goes way over your head.
This initiative was made possible through funding by Universal Health Care Foundation and Solutions Journalism Network.