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A Member’s Guide to Questioning Candidates Running in 2016

 As the 2016 election season draws near, candidates will be holding campaign rallies and town hall events in communities all across the country. As in every election, it is important for our members to question candidates on their plans to help address mental illness and addictions in the United States. Asking these questions not only gives us insight as to what the candidates would do, but it forces them to think about solutions and demonstrates the importance of these issues to the voters.

 By participating in the vetting process, the providers and advocates alike will learn about each candidate and will find out their positions are on these crucial issues. This “cheat sheet” provides sample questions for you to ask candidates at campaign events (there are usually Q&A sessions at these events).  Good luck and let us know if you have any questions!


  1. In the United States, the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic has continued to grow. Data show that the number of opioid overdose deaths has tripled in the last 15 years, and the number of heroin overdose deaths has increased fivefold since 2001. What actions will you take to help solve this crisis if you are elected?
  2. A lot of people do not know how to help when they see someone struggling with a mental illness or addiction. If elected, what steps will you take to support and raise awareness of this urgent public health issue?
  3. Although there are numerous initiatives to expand access to behavioral health care in this country, far too many Americans still do not receive treatment for mental health or addiction disorders. If elected, what will you do to make sure all people with mental illness and addictions have access to the lifesaving treatment they need?