In our latest episode, I had the chance to speak with congressional candidate Lindsey Boylan. She is a candidate for Congress in NY’s 10th district.
I found myself getting emotional a few times during my conversation with her. She has a very personal reason for pushing a mental health agenda as part of her campaign. If you do nothing more than watch her short video on why mental health is such a big part of her platform here.
In this episode, Lindsey explains how the people in her district are spending more time searching for things like mental health, depression, and anxiety on Google, versus gun control, climate change and plumbers. Not to diminish those other issues, but her constituents need a candidate who cares about what they care about. Americans needs politicians who care about what we struggle with because they have experienced it personally.
Lindsey is a New Yorker, a lifelong public servant and has done some great work in her service efforts to help secure hundreds of millions of dollars for underfunded public housing in NY, she’s worked to generate job growth in NY state, and she was heavily involved in the fight for a $15 minimum wage in NY.
She is a Board Member at the Design Trust for Public Space, she is on the Powerhouse Committee at “Run for Something” which is a group that encourages young progressives to run for state and local office, and she spends time advocating for NAMI-NYC (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
You can connect with Lindsey Boylan and learn more about her work here: Campaign Website, LinkedIn, ‘Mental Health is Personal’ Video, Twitter
SOME OF THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT:
What made you decide to run for congress? Lindsey talks about how she’s spent most of her career focused on solving problems to make systems better for people. She’s always been very driven to help other people.
In Manhattan, more people are googling “depression, anxiety, and therapy” than “gun control, climate change, and plumbers.” Not to minimize the latter issues, but our leaders aren’t really focused on the issues that the people are most concerned about. People want to see politicians focused on mental health, and Lindsey is laser-focused on it from a policy perspective. Lindsey is running for congress to help bring these very personal issues around mental health, to the forefront in government.
Lindsey talks about how mental illness has impacted her and her family. She is very passionate about changing the mental health system. Mental health is a core component of her campaign and it drives her personally, as well as professionally.
Lindsey produced a video called “Mental Health is Personal” – in the video she explains that we don’t have a mental health care system in this country. Instead, we have a patchwork of resources for those who can afford it. We talk about why there is no real mental healthcare system. Lindsey gives an example about how in NYC it’s almost impossible to see a therapist that is paid for by insurance. We have this archaic barter system of a scale of payment that is very opaque. If you’re experiencing a crisis or a hardship, and you don’t know where to go that is affordable, then it’s extremely daunting.
We don’t treat mental health the same way we treat physical health in this country. We talk about the pool of resources that are out there to help people with various ailments and diseases. We also talk about how many research dollars are available for things like diabetes and heart disease versus dollars available for mental health research. The legislation is required to get more funding flowing to mental health research.
We talk about this forced narrative that exists around violence and mental health. Most people with mental health concerns are not perpetrating vio