According to the National Library of Medicine, “Lack of choice is associated with higher levels of emotional stress, physical strain, and negative health impacts.”
Our mission at Mental Health Connecticut (MHC) is centered on creating environments that support long-term health and wellness. A healthy environment is not possible without choice. This includes access to care and having the right to choose how you take care of your mind and body.
MHC is deeply troubled following the recent release of a draft opinion that would overturn the longstanding Roe v. Wade decision and its impact on reproductive freedom and accessing reproductive healthcare. If we are to live in a world where mental health is “health,” we need to make a stand on reproductive health, for citizens and health care workers alike.
A person’s ability to access and effectively utilize reproductive health services has a positive impact on their education and workforce participation, as well as on subsequent outcomes related to income, family stability, mental health, and happiness.
According to the President of the American Psychological Association, Frank C. Worrell, PhD, “Rigorous, long-term psychological research demonstrates clearly that people who are denied abortions are more likely to experience higher levels of anxiety, lower life satisfaction and lower self-esteem compared with those who are able to obtain abortions.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic already exacerbating the mental health crisis in the United States, this potential ruling and overturning Roe v. Wade would undoubtedly lead to adverse impacts on the mental health of our country. MHC condemns all policies on both the State and Federal levels that prevent individuals from accessing timely medical services that will help to improve their mental well-being and overall quality of life.
On the flip side, we applaud Connecticut legislators, Attorney General Tong, and our Governor for expanding access to abortion services in our state. According to the press release that went out today, “CT Governor Ned Lamont signed Public Act 22-19, a first-in-the-nation law that will protect medical providers and patients seeking abortion care in Connecticut who may be traveling from other states that have outlawed abortion. Additionally, the law expands abortion access in Connecticut by expanding the type of practitioners eligible to perform certain abortion-related care.” CT’s legislation will protect medical providers and patients seeking abortion care for those who live in our state, and for others who may be traveling from other states that have outlawed abortion.
We are grateful to make Connecticut our home and to see our state a leader in elevating and protecting reproductive health. MHC is committed to the principle that health care is a right. We stand with all those who are fighting to secure services and legal protections which will enable individuals to maximize their quality of life.
Luis B. Pérez, LCSW
President and CEO
Looking for resources or support in CT but don’t know where to start? Contact MHC’s free Information & Referral line: https://www.mhconn.org/education/information.
Take a free and confidental mental health screening at: https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools?ref=MHConn
Stay up to date with the Center for Reproductive Rights: https://reproductiverights.org/maps/state/connecticut/ | @reporights
To reach a 24-hour Crisis Center: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) | text MHA to 741741
In Connecticut, call the Action Line 24/7 for a warm transfer to Mobile Crisis is: 1-800-HOPE-135 or 2-1-1