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Voters More Likely to Support a Candidate Who Promises to Address Mental Health and Addiction, According to New Polling from the National Council for Behavioral Health Released Ahead of December 16 New Hampshire 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 11, 2019) – New polling released today by the National Council for Behavioral Health shows strong bipartisan agreement among registered voters in New Hampshire that the federal government is not doing enough to address mental health (84% of Democrats and 72% of Republicans) and addiction (77% of Democrats and 53% of Republicans) in America.

The National Council released the new polling in advance of the Unite for Mental Health: New Hampshire Town Hall, a public forum for 2020 presidential candidates to discuss mental health and addiction policies. The National Council for Behavioral Health, Mental Health for US and the NH Community Behavioral Health Association will host Unite for Mental Health: New Hampshire Town Hall on December 16 at the Dana Center at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

“The message is clear: candidates who want to win New Hampshire need to tell voters they have a plan to address the mental health and addiction crisis, one of the most important health issues facing the nation,” said Chuck Ingoglia, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health. “The Unite for Mental Health: New Hampshire Town Hall will provide an important opportunity for presidential candidates to engage with New Hampshire families, mental health professionals and local policymakers to discuss the issues and share solutions voters – and the nation – are eager to support.”

The National Council polling also found:

  • A bipartisan majority of New Hampshire voters say a presidential candidate’s plan for increasing funding for mental health (89% Democrats and 82% Republicans) and addiction (85% Democrats and 74% Republican) is important in their 2020 vote.
  • 66% of all New Hampshire voters are more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who promises to do more to address mental health.
  • 77% of young voters and 74% of female voters in the state are more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who promises to do more to address mental health.
  • 56% of New Hampshire voters are unaware of any presidential candidate’s plan to address mental health and addiction.

This statewide poll comes on the heels of new national data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirming that suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers in the U.S. The suicide rate among people ages 10 to 24 years old climbed 56% from 2007 to 2017, according to the CDC report. These findings, compared with high rates of death nationwide from drug overdose, are leading to calls for the 2020 presidential candidates to engage communities across the country in order to better meet the needs of millions of Americans.

“Mental health and addiction continuously poll as key issues for many Americans, yet our leaders rarely prioritize prevention, treatment, and recovery strategies,” said former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, founder of The Kennedy Forum and Mental Health for US co-chair. “This new polling data from New Hampshire is the catalyst we need for change. The Mental Health for US coalition is proud to stand with the National Council and the NH Community Behavioral Health Association as we call on policymakers and candidates to walk the walk for the those with mental health and addiction challenges.”

“The results of this poll are compelling. The need to invest in caring for those with mental illness is clear, and the voters want to see candidates for public office at all levels address these important issues,” said Roland Lamy, executive director of the NH Community Behavioral Health Association.

Morning Consult conducted the polling between November 13-21, 2019, among a sample of 300 New Hampshire registered voters. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/-6%. Click here for full polling results.


About the National Council for Behavioral Health

The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 3,326 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and 2 million Americans have been trained.

About Mental Health for US

Mental Health for US is a nonpartisan educational initiative focused on elevating mental health and addiction in national policy conversations by empowering grassroots advocates and improving candidate and policymaker health literacy. The Mental Health for US coalition is comprised of more than 85 stakeholder groups from around the country dedicated to uniting the American people to make systemic, long-term change with civic engagement tools and resources.

The NH Community Behavioral Health Association

The NH Community Behavioral Health Association (NH CBHA) is based in Concord, N.H., is a section 501(c)(3) organization, established by the 10 community mental health centers in New Hampshire for the purposes of advocating for the priorities of NH CBHA members, eliminate the stigma related to mental health, provide high quality and effective systems of care and raise awareness of overall health care and prevention and treatment of mental illness.