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Mind Matters: Building a Resilient Nation through Prioritized Mental Health Care


Lindsey QueenAs the cornerstone of our nation’s well-being, prioritizing mental health paves the way for a resilient and thriving America.

The state of mental health in America today is concerning, with millions of individuals grappling with issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. “A third of all adults, and half of young adults aged 18-24, report living with a mental illness, feeling depressed, anxious, or lonely.”(YI 2024 Mental Health Agenda) Despite growing awareness, access to mental health services remains a significant barrier for many. This lack of access leads to untreated conditions and adverse outcomes, resulting in an economic burden costing Americans 3.3 billion dollars each year. (Economic Burden Associated With Untreated Mental Illness in Indiana) However, with improved access to essential services, these negative statistics can transform into success stories, offering hope and recovery to many in need. I know this because I am not only a seasoned lobbyist for the mental health industry but, like 1 in almost 4 Americans, I’ve lived it.

An outsider would never suspect it, but I am a survivor of untold challenges. Beneath the surface, one would never guess I endured domestic violence or experienced homelessness at 17. Today, I stand as a testament to resilience and the power of support from my community and, above all, my counselors throughout the years. By speaking up, I hope to honor the impact they’ve had on my life and perhaps even chip away at the stigma of mental health or empower others to become mental wellness ambassadors. In the hardest-working and richest nation in the world, Americans shouldn’t have to suffer alone because they are not alone.

The data is in, and this unprecedented time calls for a new policy approach in Congress if we are to steer our nation and world back on track. Improved access to mental health resources can drastically change the trajectory of countless lives and reshape our future. As America navigates the aftermath of COVID-19, the need for recovery extends beyond physical health to encompass the mental well-being of its people. Each day, it becomes increasingly evident that the toll on mental health during the pandemic has been profound. Now, as we move forward, it’s imperative to prioritize support and resources for those who have struggled, ensuring that no one is left behind in our collective journey towards healing and resilience.

By prioritizing mental health, we can pave the way for a resilient and thriving America, turning the tide on current challenges and fostering a society where everyone has the opportunity to lead a healthy, fulfilling life.

Lindsey Queen is a seasoned government relations professional with over 12 years of experience, recently serving as Manager of Government Relations at Forbes Tate Partners, a nationally ranked Top 10 lobbying firm in the U.S. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, she brings a comprehensive understanding of local, state, and federal government, having advocated dozens of industries but especially enjoys representing nonprofits. Deeply rooted in her community of Washington, DC, she actively champions initiatives to ensure a brighter, healthier future for youth, women, and young adults.