Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kansas Has Opportunity For National Leadership In Referendum On Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) declared today that Kansas voters will demonstrate national leadership if they "Vote Yes on 2!" in the referendum on a constitutional amendment on Election Day, Nov 2.

The amendment would eliminate language in the state constitution that singles out people living with mental illness and gives the legislature power to prohibit them from voting. Both houses of the state legislature have already approved the change, which requires voter approval.

The Kansas Mental Health Coalition is leading the campaign for the amendment. NAMI Kansas is a member of the coalition. NAMI's national organization also is supporting the proposal.

"Two of the four presidents carved on Mount Rushmore-Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt-struggled with mental illness," said NAMI's national director Mike Fitzpatrick. "No one has ever suggested that they should have been denied the right to vote."

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