Pete Buttigieg unveils his plan to tackle the mental health care crisis

Pete Buttigieg unveils his plan to tackle the mental health care crisis

>>We are going to discuss one
of the greatest challenges facing our state, the mental
health and addiction crisis. My name is Nancy Murphy and I am
proud to represent the town of Merrimack in the New Hampshire
representatives. Before this I was a nurse on the
front lines of mental health care as an employee. Every day I
saw how the mental health issues and substance abuse impacted
children and our families. It was devastating to see parents struggling with addition
and the deep scars and left on our children. For too long this
has been a crisis without adequate funding to deal with
it. New Hampshire citizens have been fighting hard on our own
and we need support. I know many of you are veterans, so
understand the impact of this crisis for stand. Like you, Pete
is a veteran and has seen this firsthand as well. As the mayor
of a Midwestern city he is personally had to deal with that
devastating impact on families in his community. That is why he
has released a comprehensive plan to address the challenges
head-on, and to find fresh solutions. With Pete’s plan we
can finally move past the tired rhetoric of the past and empower communities to
confront this crisis. In a moment we were more about how
from Pete himself. But before that veteran Adam will share a
few words about how the mental health crisis has affected the
community that is highly been ignored. With that I will pass
things over to Adam. [ APPLAUSE ] >>Good morning everyone. If you
don’t know who I am, don’t panic. You are in the majority.
I am not the one who usually gets involved in presidential
politics. I am more of a sit on the sideline kind of a guy. I
had the opportunity to go see Mayor Pete speak for the very
first time in my life, I actually had the motivation to
get up, put clothes on, and go somewhere to hear somebody speak
that will be the potential president of the United States.
I heard him speak and I must admit I was a little taken. I
thought that I have to see this again.
So I went to see them a second time at a second location
because I thought he was maybe a one off. After that I realized
this young man is the real deal. I heard Pete speak a few months
ago and what I heard was a really and young naval officer
that understands what it is like to actually serve in this
country, and his community. He had the qualities that made me
proud to have served in the same military as this man. Some of them understands the
commitment that someone makes when you put your life into a
fellow American with a completely different background
than years. Some them understand the mission, the man, himself. I
realized that we needed young leaders like this man to
transition to this new and young leadership because they have
more skin in the game that a 60-year-old. The decisions they
make will impact them in their lifetime. Mayor Pete is roughly the same
age as my oldest daughter, so that decisions that he makes
will impact my daughter and all of my grandchildren. I think it
is time for that. Like many of you I am a veteran I served 13
years, six months and two days. But who is counting? I entered
the service two years after Vietnam ended. I was fortunate to be trained and
mentor by gentlemen who had served their time in Vietnam.
Back then we all knew that some of these NCOs were not quite
right. We did have a name for that at the time but now we know
it is PTSD. Like many of you when I saw what I saw during my
military service it was the impact that type of service had
all my fellow members and sergeants of the military. When
we hear Mayor Pete speak about the mental health issues that
affect veterans, I know that he is real and talking about the
people that served with him, his friends, my friends, and any one
of us that has served in the uniform, has seen that type , and what happens when you
serve your country in uniform. When he talks about mental
health I know that he knows what he is talking about. On the
sideline, I guess that is where I sit, but I am very quiet on
the sideline , and very in tune to what is
happening. Moreover I see the big child is coming toward this
country, and the huge challenges, and what it takes
and what it is going to take to meet these challenges and
overcome these challenges before they overwhelm us. I think they
are Pete has the education, the talent, the insight, and he has
the maturity and the clarity and the temperament to deal with
issues that are going to face this country as we move forward.
Having settled that I think I had 50 seconds but I may have
gone over. Ladies and gentlemen I have done anything in my life,
but none have given me more pleasure, and it is my honor and
privilege to introduce you the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and
I hope someday to be my friend and fellow veteran Mayor Pete
Buttigieg. [ APPLAUSE ] >>You so much. Thank you. What a room. This is fantastic!
Thank you so much Adam for the work that I do and for your
service. Thank you to representative Murphy for the
introduction and everything that you spoke on to help address
mental health care and fighting for the rights of the community
to clean water, as that is such a vital fight right now. I am thankful to be here on the
100th anniversary of the Legion and post that served this
community so well. Congratulations. [ APPLAUSE ]
>>I wanted to be here to have a
conversation, a conversation about an issue that impacts
veterans and an issue that impacts all of us in the United
States, the issue of mental health care and addiction. It is
a crisis that is facing this country in a way that we have
not wrestled with up until now properly. But when we do and if
we do we will be so proud of the steps that we took. I am running
for president because of my sense of urgency that our
country might be running out of time. There is a lot of
discussion about what is going on in the White House right now
and what is going on with this president. We certainly have
divisions and distractions that are harming this country. I am not sure what I am worried
about. The fact that the president is serious when he
talks about buying Greenland or the fact that he is joking about
the medal of honor. What I know is that we need a better
president. But what I also know is that this is a lot bigger
than one president. It is certainly the case that we
cannot go on like this and I think we all can agree with
that. [ APPLAUSE ] But I think we also have to ask how we paid
the way for the moment that we are living in in the first
place. I don’t think we would be here if everything was going
along just fine in this country. I think for as long as I have
been alive our country has been struggling to respond to issues
that are now reaching the crisis level. School shootings, climate
change, and an economy that is not working for most of us.
Thing about it meaning for the Dow and GDP to go up and
life expectancy to go down. This crisis is come to our doorstep
and we are just a two years away from climate catastrophe, from
the gun violence epidemic, and a few years away from losing the
right to choose in this country. That is if we continue to do
things the way we have done them. But we don’t have to and
that is the point. We can summon the courage to make a break from
the past and do something different. I believe this is our best and
perhaps last good shot. We are not going to get there by
promising to return back to normal. We will get there by
envisioning a new normal. [ APPLAUSE ] So I am here at the different
kind of message or with a different kind of message that
revolves around our values and insist it is in the name of our
body that we can build a better life in this country. Values
that don’t along to a political party, but are rather American
values that we share, and should not be used to divide us. For
example, God does not belong to a
political party, and we should stop allowing that to be
something that divides us. [ APPLAUSE ] Neither does freedom.
We are those who stand up especially among estate that
lives by the motto of live free, there is more freedom than
counting the regulation on the bank. That will really want to
live free and we have to support one another in living the life
of our choosing. You don’t have freedom if you
don’t have healthcare and you don’t have freedom if you don’t
have the freedom to organize in labor, for a good day’s pay for
a good days work. Freedom comes by way of education which is one
reason why we need a secretary of education that believes in
public education in our country. [ APPLAUSE ] So this is not a
partisan value, a Republican back, it is an American value
and I was say the same is true for patriotism. We have to walk
away from the idea that patriotism belongs to one
political party. [ APPLAUSE ] The flak that we learned to
salute and was attached to my shoulder the first time
that I stepped off of a C-17 in a war zone was not a flag of one
party, but a flag that symbolizes the idea that in this
country we are free, and obliged to speak up when we think our
leaders are doing the wrong thing, and when we do we may
expect better than to be questioned in our loyalty to the
Republic let alone being told to go back to where we came from. [
APPLAUSE ] Being serious about patriotism
and national security in our time will require us to
recognize 21st-century security threats like cyber
security and election security. Thinks it will not necessarily
respond to as 17th-century security strategy wielding a
wall. That will be more to it than that. If we really want to be secure
we have to treat climate disruption like the security
issue that it he has. These things fit together. [ APPLAUSE
] We also have to honor those that serve by being ready to put
an end to endless war. [ APPLAUSE ] This isn’t just a
problem of presidents, it is a problem of
Congress, and the way that I view it when there is an
authorization for the use of military force it or have a
subset in it that if a president needs to renew after three years he has to go back to Congress
because of our service members have enough courage to put their
life at risk for fighting for this country the members of
Congress ought to be able to summon the political courage to
take a tough vote to send in there or keep them there. [
APPLAUSE ] So in the name of our shared
values, security, freedom, democracy, we can build a better
life in this country. Speaking of democracy in the home state,
I would argue that we have been accepting the unacceptable for
far too long . The idea that we will allow
district to be drawn were politicians are picking up their
voters instead of the other way around. This is inconsistent
with the values of democracy that so many Americans put their
life on the line to defend at home and overseas. We can do
better and we will. I am running because I have a sense of hope
even in this moment in our politics, this divided moment in
our country, that we can do something. I am convinced as a
member of the most diverse and largest generation ever that my
generation has a responsibility to stand up and to do the things
that will make a difference. Making sure that we can deliver
an economy that works for everybody whether or not you are
driving at Uber or waiting tables or a salaried position. Recognize that it is a job and
the worker is a work either way and should be protected as such.
We have plans to get the same source of, Roddy and community
and identity of purpose that this together those
that serve, those that serve together and those that are
spread across different generations. I want every
American to have that same feeling that I have when I was
overseas and somebody got in my vehicle and I learned to trust
him with my life even if we had different politics or was from a
different generation or came from a different part of the
country. I want every American to express that without having
to go to war to get it. That is what National Service can allow
us to do. [ APPLAUSE ] But it requires an action, and I have
an action plan of gun violence that demonstrates within our
Constitution there is plenty of room to make sure that we are
keeping each other safe, not only by acting on commonsense
safety measures like universal background checks, but making
sure that we are countering violent extremism with white
nationalist violence is a security threat every bit as
real as some of the other terrorist problems our country
faces. We need to act on that and act
on racial inequality in this country and that is why I
propose the Douglas plan as ambitious as the Marshall plan
to rebuild Europe, but investing it at home. We are going to talk
about the importance of systemic racism when we are in mostly
white audiences and audiences of color because it drags down our
entire country into we do something about it. [ APPLAUSE ]
We can act on healthcare. I call my vision Medicare for all who
wanted based on the idea that we can
take a version of Medicare and make it available on the
exchange for people to buy into without making the promise that
we can flip a switch and kick people off the healthcare they
have and expected to work out. I believe the public option will
be better and the best way to prove it is to invite Americans
to vote with their feet to what we are offering of their own
choice and I believe that is the way to move us into the right
kind of freedom that you experience when you have access
to healthcare and build the life of your choosing. But on the
topic of healthcare we haul our! For too long talked about it like mental addiction like it
was not even a part of healthcare. We need to put an
end to it and that’s what I want to focus on today. The first
that is we have to break the silence around the crisis of
mental health care. Right now I believe that we have a crisis
that has not been named nearly enough and that we hesitate to
talk about. We have to change the conversation. Let me ask
right here, if you or someone that you know, if anyone that
you care about has been impacted by addiction or by a mental
health challenge, would you raise your hand? That is just
about all of us. This is not something that should continue
to lurk in the shadow, it is all of us. New Hampshire is on the
front line of the opioid crisis in particular, and it calls for
action. This crisis like most big ones
do not happen overnight. It has been building for years and has
been impacting different people in different ways. We now see
the overdose death spiking in the black community and mental
health issues on the rise in the communities of fines himself
under daily assault from this administration. We are seeing a young LGBTQ
person who is five times more likely than a straight classmate
to attempt suicide. We see it so acutely and painfully among our
community of veterans. It is disorienting to get home from a conflict, and
I know many folks in this room have had experiences adjusting
to redeployment. Either for that spec even for me it could
not have been better because I had a steady job and a community
waiting for me. I found challenges that I would almost
think that knob off the door for getting it was not the vehicle I
was driving overseas. One time I was merging onto the highway by
my mom and she was in the vehicle and I said clear right,
and she looked at me and she said clear what? Sometimes that
adjustment is comical. Sometimes it is painful. It was tough for
me and mine was smoother than most. I know just how tough it
is for others in my generation. Not to mention the previous
generation that I want to speak to for just a minute because
there is a generation of veterans before we have the
words for PTSD and before we had the capacity I think in our
civic life to separate how we felt about troops from how we
felt about the policy that sent them there. I just want to say
to anybody from that generation of veterans in this room even
though it is much related thank you and welcome home. [ APPLAUSE
] The good news is that now we
have more knowledge and words for what we are up against.
These invisible wounds of war are often a consequence of what
people are dealing with the stress of readjusting with
friends and family. Yet we have to about not just illnesses but
stigma that prevents so many veterans from seeking treatment.
When that doesn’t happen that is when we watch friends and those
that we serve with, self medicate with alcohol or be
unable to sleep through the night. That we are seeing 20
veterans a day taking their own life. Sometimes out of
frustration doing it in the parking lot of VA facilities.
Because of the deaths of despair we are learning and living
through the decline in life expectancy in this country since
the first world war. Among all the growth and
benefits that our economy is supposed to bring us, life
expectancy is going down. This is an all hands on deck crisis,
yet it is still being treated in Washington with silence, empty
problems, and neglect. That will change when I am president. [
APPLAUSE ] You cannot have folks in Congress claim to
prioritize mental health and simultaneously/funding for the treatment. You can’t
have a president that calls an entire state a drug infested the
end, and then doesn’t appoint anybody to run the office of
national drug control policy. They said the
problems will be fixed by putting up a wall. This is a
crisis of care and character. We are now left with the system so
broken and so fragmented that less than one out of every five Americans
who have a substance abuse disorder actually receive
treatment. Lesson two of five Americans with mental health
illness get the care they end, and that neglect has to end and
it begins today. [ APPLAUSE ] So, as a cornerstone of my
candidacy I am proposing a plan to meet this urgent national
challenge with a new approach to providing mental health and
addiction care rooted in strengthening communities so
that everyone has a resource to heal and everybody understand
they belong starting with our veterans. When 70% of mental health care
providers in the VA say they don’t have the staff or the
space to adequate care for the veterans they serve, that is a
problem. We are going to raise pay and cut red tape to
encourage ability to hire new clinicians in the VA. [ APPLAUSE
] With nearly 5 million veterans living in rural areas and hours away from the nearest
hospital we are going to have to increase access to telehealth,
tele-psychiatry, and not as a replacement, but as a supplement
so that a veteran can do a conference with the therapist
from their own home. We owe it to bring that therapy closer to
those who been asked to travel too far in order to get it. We
are going to increase investments in suicide
prevention for veterans because one is too many, and 20 is a
crisis. As mayor I know the power of community wrapping her
arm around somebody in crisis. We are going to offer $10
million annually in healing and belonging grants that empower local
committees to prioritize the issues most relevant to their
own well-being. We know that it is different in different parts
of this country and we don’t think we should have a
one-size-fits-all strategy. [ APPLAUSE ] In my own community we adopted
strategies like the one called veterans community connection. It was not another website a
program, but a way for ordinary committee members to volunteer
to embrace people coming off of active duty who might not need
help navigating benefits, but navigating the community itself
like finding anything from a good dentist to a good place to
live. Away to say thank you for your service and to recognize
that veterans or someone to be competed over and to make
ourselves the most veteran friendly community in the
country. We saw an effort in Kansas City a few weeks ago with
my friend putting together work to help veterans support other
veterans and settled in houses and making sure that nobody
falls through the cracks, proving that once again the
veterans are not a problem to be solved, but the potential that
we can unlock to make this country a better place. [
APPLAUSE ] So for every American we are
going to promote and address mental health coverage. We have
had it on the books, but we need to actually enforce it that if
the health plan offers unlimited doctor visits for a physical
condition they should do the same for mental health
condition, and we will penalize those that do not comply. It means tackling the opioid
epidemic had on. I have seen lives saved in our city by
equipping first responders with narcan so that we can ensure universal access not only
to that but the life-saving medication -assisted treatment
that recognizes this is a medical and not a moral
challenge. [ APPLAUSE ] Why we are added we will hold
drug companies responsible for what they did in the first
place, what they did wrong. [ APPLAUSE ] We also know that we have a
provider shortage when the wait times in the New
Hampshire community health care center can be up to a month
long, and lives depend on whether or not you make it to
those weeks. You wake up and you are revived from an overdose in
your life depends on whether not you can get your appointment and
your appointment is weeks away. We have to train more medical
and mental health professionals and embed them where the
patients are likely to show up. A working mom should be able to
see a mental health clinician while she is at the
pediatrician. We should integrate primary care and
mental health care because they are hand-in-hand and they are
both vitally important. [ APPLAUSE ] We also have to support those
who have found themselves on the front line. That means training
the police forces to identify mental illness so that somebody
in crisis can end up in treatment before it is too late.
It means requiring that every school across the country teach
mental health first aid courses and train
teachers and school staff to know how to help students when
they see it because often they are the ones who see it first.
Also, beyond everything that we do around healthcare and the
clinical environment, we have to address the deeper crisis of
belonging in this country. We have to reduce the stigma around
all of these issues, the narrative around mental health
and addiction and bring those impacted out and talk about
depression and bipolar disorder openly and honestly as we talk
about cancer or diabetes. [ APPLAUSE ] That means a national campaign
to counter isolation and alienation whether not is a young child
feeling out of place in school or an older American whose aging
friends cannot stop by and often. To that National Service
program we will ensure that Americans can find meaning in
assisting others, the idea behind our community health
court helping those dealing with mental health and a court that
provides caregiving across generations. [ APPLAUSE ] With these kinds of bold reforms in my first term we can
reduce the number of people incarcerated because of mental
illness or substance abuse by 75%, and we can ensure that far
more of those that the care actually get it. We can get 10
million more people cured by the end of my first term. The
accelerating pace of the death of despair is so great in this
country that if we actually asked what progress looks like,
and if we can cut the number by half in this country, over the
next decade, we will save 1 million lives. How can we not?
How can we not? [ APPLAUSE ] So there is a lot more detail
behind that that I hope you will explore and visit our website
and see how we plan to get from here to there. I want to close
before we get into questions by making a case for hope at a time
when hope maybe has become a little unfashionable in our
politics in the division and chaos and the meanness. I think
running for office is an expression of hope that if we
have the right people and the right ideas in office it will
matter. It will make our lives better. It will make a
difference in the every day for us and our fellow Americans. I
am thinking about this in terms of what we will tell our kids. I
am planning to have kids one day and by the time they are old
enough to vote I want to look him in the eye and tell them
what we did in 2020. Tell them about how bad we let it get an
what we did to turn it around before he got too late. The steps that we took
in 2020 was what was required to bring about a date when you race
had no bearing on your health or your life expectancy or your
relationship with law enforcement. That we did what it
took to deliver an economy with the numbers go up on a page our
lives actually get better across the country. A woman’s right to
choose was on the ropes, but we acted before it was eliminated
and shored up the rights and the freedom of women in this
country. [ APPLAUSE ] We got right to the brink of ruin with
our climate, but we acted before it was too late. We can be proud
of it and proud of this too. We can tell them there was a day
when 20 veterans took their lives everyday, what we stood up
and said this will go no further, we will do what is
required of us to make sure they got the care they needed. [
APPLAUSE ] So that is what I am asking to
help us build and help us deliver. Walking away from accepting the
unacceptable and making the change that we know that is
required that if we get it right we have every reason to stand up
taller than we talk about our country and talk about this time that we live in so
that the next generation gets were about other things than the
problems we are dealing with right now. That is what this is
about and with your help I believe we can get it done. Take
you so much for the chance to be here. [ APPLAUSE ] >>With that and never want this
to be a monologue so let’s have a conversation I
would love to take questions and respond to anything on your
mind. I will start over here. >>Pete, I am an Air Force
veteran a B-52 crew chief. I had a 750 pound tire follow me
and crush me. My wife kept after me about going to the VA and get
the disability, and every dealing I have had with him is a
waste of time. I took her with me and I said I will go if you
go with me. We get the runaround and get sent all over the place
and we was sitting there for a long time, a half of an hour and
I get up to the window and they say this is the wrong window and
I was was go there. The other people sit in here and they said
you have to go there first. Finally I get upstairs and I see
a nurse, and the nurse says to me stand up and bend forward and
been backwards and been to the site, then to the other side. I said I don’t use a cane until
I absolutely have to. I said I don’t want to look like a victim
on the street because of people will get mugged. So they sent me
home and that was it. On the ride home my wife said to be
that is the most useless thing I have ever seen in my life. That
I get a thing in the mail saying I get 40%. I go through 10 years
and I never go to a doctor and they said I need 50% to get
medical. I get called back and they said you have to show us
that you are still alive and you are still disabled and
all this. I get up there and the woman said you haven’t been here
in 10 years and I said I know, I go to my own doctor because you
people did nothing for me. Then they turn around everybody is
talking about they are going to change the VA, and they closed
our urgent care center. What the help is going on? We have a
president that wants to privatize it. If it is bad now what is it going to be like when
they privatize it? >>That is exactly right.
Privatization is not the answer. We have enough struggles now
without having to fight through unaccountable proxy on top the
bureaucracy you are facing. First of all I’m sorry to hear
this and this is not the only time I have heard this kind of
story about an experience that somebody trying to navigate the
system designed not as a way to do you favor that as a way to
keep a promise. You did your part and you made a promise to
the United States of America. That is supposed to be a two-way
relationship that last as long as you are alive.
>>You get sent all over the world and the tell you they
would take care of and you get hurt, [indiscernible]. It is a
lie.>>We cannot allow that to
continue and that is true on the physical and mental health side.
So what do we do about it? Have to probably invest. We have a
provider shortage and not nearly enough facility so that you have
to drive that distance to get there and the ones that are
close you are closing, that is a wrong direction for us to be
moving in. We have to have flex ability in the system and I am
fine with that. If you had a cold and you want to use a
choice program, then fine. But we had the services for a reason
and privatizing them ignores the fact that different wars have a
different wound. That is one reason why we had the VA to
begin with. We would know about Agent Orange
or anything if we had not made a decision as a country that we
have to respond specifically to things that happen in service.
That principle has to be behind everything that we do when it
comes to caring for veterans including making the funding
commitments necessary to actually have the system that
our veterans deserve. >>[indiscernible].
[ LAUGHTER ] >>Let’s do better this time.
Thank you. Thanks for serving. I appreciate it. [ APPLAUSE ] >>Hello Mayor Pete and I
believe you are the chosen one. [ LAUGHTER ]
>>My question is what can we do to get you out there? I am a
staff [indiscernible], and by the way
I was Republican until this last election.>>We are glad to have you.
Welcome. [ APPLAUSE ] >>I have such faith in you that
you are the guy that I will do whatever it takes to get you
elected. I just want to know what more can we do?>>It is all about relationship
right now. Our organizing strategy is based on relational
organizing on top of the traditional doorknocking and phone calling
we are asking people to reach into the network and chances are
you know folks like you who maybe was in the habit or grew
up voting Republican but are so troubled by this presidency that it is an
offense to conservative and liberal values that is time for
something different. Biting them and bringing them to the table
you’ll be more effective with that that I am or who I already
know. That is a huge part of it. A big part is spreading the word
with this many candidates. It is really important for folks to
hear the message. When you are doing and not just talking
about, it is great to say a lot of nice things about
me and I appreciate it. But talk about what we are going to do
and how it will be different we get National Service. Why make
sense to do this approach to getting everybody healthcare in
some of the others and why we have to act on mental health
care. I believe we have put for the most offensive and
forward-looking mental health plant than any of the
candidates. We needed at a moment like this and it touches
everybody whether or not folks are ready to talk about it or
not. Every community family and school is impacted and I am
relying on you to help spread the word and we will be here
early and often. In the team that’s back in between we are
depending on you to build relationships and thank you for
your support. [ APPLAUSE ] >>I am a proud resident of Manchester and happy to see some
of our state representatives here in the office.
>>Terrific. All of our elected officials would you stand up and
be recognized for minute. I am thankful to have you here. Cut
back >>Anyway I wanted to give them
a shout out. Manchester is a great city but we have the same
problems that South Bend had. We have an
opioid addiction problem and a homelessness problem and they
seem completely intertwined. I think mental health has a lot
to do with both of these problems, so can you talk a
little bit on the federal level what can be done about providing
homes for people who on their own or really challenged to find
a culpable and safe place to live?
>>This is a huge issue and the driver of increased homelessness
in so many cities around the country. It is happening in places like
Austin or San Francisco where the housing prices are
astronomical. Is happening in a community like mine where you
can get a good house for about $30,000. It is universal and
shows that it is a lot more to it than housing. One of the
biggest factors is addiction and mental health struggles. After the battle is connecting
people up to resources that exist but are not wired in. That
is true with so security, disability, Medicaid, and we
need to do a better job of bringing people in and
connecting them. That is part of what we are trying to cheat with
the grants I was talk about to support community because the
people in Manchester will know what is driving the problem in
Manchester than what is deeply different than the problem in
Oakland. Instead of trying to sort it out from Washington DC
that support the people on the ground to put together an
integrated plan and in some places there’s more than enough
beds than in shelters, some people can’t or will not use
them. In some areas we don’t have that many shelter beds to
begin with. We have made tremendous progress to
approaching zero in many communities on veteran
homelessness because we knew there was a specific set of
challenges and resources for veterans. When we built out
those by name list we started working
the list and one by one making sure that everybody was
connected. If we build on what we learned there and apply that
to families with kids which is another area that with a very
manageable investment we can drive it pretty close to zero.
Then we learn about what to do for the next wave of people we
are trying to support . This is a national problem and
will take a national ever to do something about it. The best
thing that we can do nationally is back at those locally to work
the problem in a way that makes sense for the community. [
APPLAUSE ] >>I got a chance to read your
healthcare plan this morning, and it is tremendous. But at the
same time 6% of the gun deaths are the death by despair. Can
you explain a little bit more about the connection between
suicide prevention and gun control?
>>These are overlapping issues. I want to be really clear when
the president says that mental illness is an excuse to do
nothing about guns, he is doing a disservice to efforts on gun
safety and to those dealing with mental
illness who are by the way much more likely to be victims and
perpetrators of gun crime. Let’s get that clear. Clack — [
APPLAUSE ] . >>We know that when somebody
who is at risk of suicide has a gun it is much more likely to
happen. I think there is this myth that suicide is inevitable.
When someone has had suicidal ideas that we will lose them,
and it is just not true. Maybe we cannot save everybody
but we can save a lot of people and if there is an opportunity
to have a wrist protection disorder when a family member or
loved one is aware that somebody’s life is at risk you
reduce that risk by not having access to a weapon. That is part
of what we mean when we talk about red flag loss, it will
save a lot of lives. Yet it doesn’t speak to some of the
other issues that are driving these deaths of despair. That is
why when only need to talk about gun safety, but about baloney in
this country. We have a crisis of belonging
and it is touching different people in different ways and a
lot of particular groups and veterans, but anybody can feel
right now on the wrong side of a pattern of exclusion,
and we need to support communities wrapping their arms
around each other with the relationship that we can form to
something like National Service to make sure that we have a
different tone and message coming out of the White House
about what it means to live in this country and building up a
culture where we are supporting one another across our
differences instead of wedging off one another according to
those differences. I believe that has mental health
implications too. We need a three digit suicide hotline in this country.
The national suicide prevention hotline does phenomenal work,
but we see a lot of evidence if we get it to at three digit
system that would make it more
effective as more people would know about it and what to do and
to refer somebody when a friend or loved one’s life is in
danger. We cannot, and we have to be working on all of the
things at once. Thanks for raising that connection. [
APPLAUSE ] >>I am a member of the New
Hampshire Democratic veterans and military families caucus. I
wanted to bring up the military families aspect because it seems
to me that people come up to me and thanked me for my service.
They don’t thank my wife. And family that are out there that
are suffering with multiple deployments, the other spouse is
the head of the family for six months or a year, we come back
and we kind of think we will take up our own role, but maybe
not. Things have changed, and you understand .
>>I’m so glad that you race that and thank you for honoring
that. I remember that I was single when I was deployed, but
I remember the sendoff in South Carolina with my battle buddy and we had gotten
each other through training and we have a come close, and I was
walking with him toward the barracks after he said goodbye
to his wife and his little 2-year-old was following after
him and not understanding why he cannot follow dad. I knew it
took all of the strength that he had not to turn back and walked
toward his child. What families do absent one of their most
important member for months or a year or more, as something, it
is something they may not have signed up for. There is a great
line that says they also serve who only stand and wait. The
contribution and the gift in everything from piece of mine to
sacrifice to just not having somebody
around to juggle the everyday stuff, it is an unbelievable
gift and contribution. That is why we need to support veterans
who are redeploying and their family. That is part
of what we are getting at with that community connection
program I mentioned. The idea is that there is a lot of people
around who want to do something for veterans but they don’t know
how to do something outside of say thank you for your service.
They say I am not an expert in veterans navigating the VA or an
expert in counseling, so what good can I do? A lot of people
are experts in their own community. By setting up and the
way we did in South Bend, we set up a way through 311 and if you
call that number looking for help, it could be a trombone
lesson for your kid, or knowing what kind of neighborhood you
want to move into for people coming off of active duty or
retiring. Also that the families would have that support from
people who would do a lot more than what they realize to help.
It is an example of those kind of connections and belonging
that we can build up. My right hand and there has to be a
few Marines here. There we go. I learned a lot about Marines when
I was deployed. Some of them are quite good. [ LAUGHTER ] His wife was at home with four
boys age seven, eight, nine, and 10. He was going to retire at
the tender age of 38 and was ready for chapter 2. I want our
community to be a community that is competing
over family like that and say we would love to have you here
because you could choose anyplace in the country to build
your second career and whatever you set your sights on. I want
all of our community to be competing over our veterans and
military families instead of treating them like a mouth to
feed because I have so much to bring to our community. And
thank you for honoring them. [ APPLAUSE ] >>You have shown great
credibility and experience on almost all the problems that we
discussed today. How about on the world stage? We face a lot
of challenges and dangers in the world. Can you address how you are
going to approach that and who you have in your cabinet to
assist you with the many problems that we face?
>>Thank you. The next president will have two really big jobs
right away when it comes to foreign policy. Number 1,
explain how and when we are going to set the bar for
using military force. I would argue that it needs to be set
much more clearly than it is now. Also, restoring U.S.
credibility around the world when it is collapsing right now.
[ APPLAUSE ] It is completely upside down. We
have love letters going to a murderous dictator in North
Korea and a war of words with Denmark. Denmark! It actually makes me think about
my deployment because there was a Danish general in the building
right next to me and a lot of things people that we served
with in Afghanistan and looking him in the eye if I
was a servicemember, and we have a lot of work to do. The core of
American foreign policy has to be built on the relationship
between American values and American interests. Any time
that we try to sell out our values to advance our interests
it has caught up with our country. We have to make sure
that we have an authentic commitment to human rights and
democracy and freedom, and we support that in various ways
around the world. It doesn’t necessarily mean
always reaching for military force, but for example, the
people in Hong Kong standing up for democracy need to know they
have a friend in the United States. [ APPLAUSE ] China needs
to know that if they repeat the Kinnaman masker this time they
will be isolated from the community of democratic nations.
But messages like that and whether not we are talk
about that or Russia or Saudi Arabia, there is a lot of
country store their weight around and ways that reveal the
vacuum of American moral authority. The world needs
America right now, but it cannot be just any America, but an
American that is living these values so essential to why we
are respected and regarded around the world in addition to
all of the military capabilities that we have to maintain. My
foreign-policy will revolve around that central idea in engagements around the
world that we will be a friend to those who are seeking a
better life and a better world and we would do it in ways that
use the full spectrum of American power, all authority,
and militarily if absolutely necessarily, but we have
diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal and it will ring
hollow if we are not practicing what we are doing at home. If a
foreign resident can find an echo about a president that talks about the media as
enemy of the people, then that vacuum grow steeper and the
consequences grow more serious. It will be urgently needed
immediately to set it right and among my top priorities as
president. [ APPLAUSE ] >>I am told we are out of time
so you get the last word and I will talk fast because they told
me we are actually done. Said thank you so much for coming and
speaking with us. I am an 11 year Air Force veteran and I
served from 2003 -2014 and I was in a rehab unit after I was
seriously injured on duty. During that time I felt what was
like to be alone for the first time. After I returned to duty I
was not able to do my job and continue to feel alone even
while surrounded by fellow members of the military. After I
got out again I felt alone. It wasn’t until recently that I
moved to New Hampshire and I started my life with my
husband and children, that I found a community of veterans at
the Manchester VA. I have since then started to volunteer for
their whole health program and have dedicated my life to
helping veterans who feel alone and feel they are out of place.
My question to you is right now we have a health program that
consist of one very small office with four desk jammed into one
small area. I believe that not only do we need to focus
individually on mental and physical health but look at the
whole person. What programs would you bring to the table in
order to bring a sense of community and a sense of being a whole person
who is a member of that community?
>>You are hitting on so many of the things that are important to
our health. We talk a lot about community identity and purpose
and how they fit together and when it is working it is
beautiful, especially in the military. Then it becomes
incredibly disoriented if all of a sudden you don’t. Thank you
not only for serving but for what you’re doing to build that
up for battle that smacked fellow veterans. It is the kind
of thing that the grants I am proposing would be able to fund
when there is something that would make a difference on
mental health as part of a community plan. Separately as
part of our Douglas plan for dealing with racial inequity, we
are looking at health equity zones where that same crisis may
be contributing to disparities in health and would fund local
communities to come up with a solution. With folks like you
did really good work the federal government should be supporting
you and helping to propel you to get that done. But it is one
more example of what you are talking about that the solutions
will not necessarily come from Washington, but come from our
community. Washington has to help and if we get this right,
that phenomenon, it sounds like a hard thing to describe,
because it is not documented and I cannot order that will be
a greater sense of community, but we can provide the resources
to those that are building it at the most human level. It is not
humans reaching out to each other, but there is so many
things behind it like our politics and take knowledge, but
when you find it and build it up it is a lifesaving enterprise.
As president I will be helping you and those who do the work. Thanks again for the chance to
be here and I look forward to seeing you as we will be in the
state often. We cannot wait to continue working with you to
deliver real solutions to the nomination to the White House.
Thank you and I will see you on the trail. Thank you so much. [
APPLAUSE ] [ Event Concluded ]

25 thoughts on “Pete Buttigieg unveils his plan to tackle the mental health care crisis

  1. I tried listening to Kamala's playlist. It was total shit. Pete has the best playlist of the candidates, hands down.

  2. Pete is at his best when he's engaging with the audience. He's so flippin' smart he just opens his mouth and intelligence spills out. But when he's interacting his ❤ spills out too, and you can FEEL how much he cares and really understands what he's talking about. 💙

  3. Homosexuality was a mental illness, until 1973 when the APA removed homosexuality from the DSM, under political pressure from homosexual activists and deception from homosexuals infiltrating the APA. Removing homosexuality from the DSM was NOT a medical decision, but a political decision. Little Petey is a homosexual, and fifty years ago he would have been considered mental ill, now he is lecturing us on mental health.

  4. 20 Pete 20 Than you for your service for fighting the good fight for America! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🧠🧠🧠🧠🧠🧠🧠🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️👋👋👋👋👋👋🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  5. Funny ….A man who places his private parts 'into' another man lectures the country about mental illness. Hmmm.

  6. Let’s play a game.  We could call it “TrollBot.”  There are so many trolls and bots in YouTube, Facebook and Twitter comments, why not have some fun with it?  This could work sort of like Clue:  Remember Mrs. Peacock in the Kitchen with a Candlestick?  You name the commenter that you think is a troll or bot, who you think they’re affiliated with, and what their main issue is.  I’ll start.

    TrollBot:  I think it’s “jack b” backed by #45 and maybe the “Sodom and Gomorrah guy” who heckled Pete at his Iowa rally (Randall Terry), because he’s homophobic.

    Now, it's your turn. Vote by commenting “Applause” or proposing your own guess.

    The TrollBot guess with the most “Applause” on any one YouTube video, Facebook thread, or Twitter hashtag wins (count your Applause), with maybe some extra points for guesses that make people laugh (“Applause lol”).

    Any takers?

    “HEALING AND BELONGING IN AMERICA:  A Plan to Improve Mental Health Care and
    Combat Addiction”

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