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August 5th, 2009 by Dr. Phil

Hey Congress, Pull Your Head Out

congressOK, as you probably know, I’m not big on wading into political issues on the show for several reasons. Mainly because I don’t think that’s what you tune in for and also because I probably don’t know enough about most issues to discuss them intelligently. I know, I know. Neither do most of the talking heads that do discuss them, but at least I admit it. But I saw a report yesterday that is sort of a political issue, and I just have to comment! Apparently, the federal government is allocating $1 million to be spread out over dozens of suicide crisis call centers around the country that are overwhelmed by record increases in distress calls. A MILLION DOLLARS??? Are you kidding me? Who is thinking for you people up there?

Over the last year and a half, in nearly every interview I’ve done with the media, I have pointed out that an inordinate amount of people in this country are emotionally falling apart because of the the economic recession. In July alone, according to the report I read, the nationwide National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network of 140 local call centers answered 57,000 calls — a whopping 46 percent increase over January 2008. Money pressure translates into life pressure, marriage pressure and personal pressure. Problems across the board react badly to stress, and we have plenty of it these days.

And countless experts say we haven’t yet seen the full impact of the recession on suicide rates. The numbers, they claim, are almost certain to keep rising as unemployment, home foreclosure and personal debt continue to climb. Other experts insist the numbers are destined to rise because of the lack of mental health services available for the men and women in uniform — the ones who have served so honorably — who are now returning home from war.

The increase of calls has left many suicide centers short-staffed and unable to handle the workload. The centers’ employees don’t have time to make follow-up phone calls or arrange visits to those who desperately need their attention. It’s a nightmare scenario.

Let me tell you something about suicide hotlines: Considering the lack of mental health clinics in this country, these hotlines are vital. If you’re wondering why we need them, just read this story.

The fact is that these call centers are often the only places — the only places — where a lot of people can go to start talking about their inability to cope. At these centers, callers don’t have to give their names. They don’t have to provide specific details about their predicaments. They just get to talk. If you’ve been through some emotional turmoil yourself, then you know there is nothing more important than finding a safe place where you can talk, and where you know someone is listening to you. For so many callers who are withdrawn in shame, that alone can be enough to get them moving again.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports that more than 33,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year. I don’t want that number to go any higher. A million bucks is a joke given the need. And we need to make sure our congresspersons know that. They need to know that as they waste billions on ridiculous government projects and “buddy back-scratching,” this nickel and dime allocation for suicide prevention is an insult to people in need and to those laboring so hard, typically with little or no pay.

Whatever it takes to keep our suicide crisis call centers funded, then let’s do it. And by the way, if you have some free time, there’s no doubt a suicide crisis center near you could use some volunteers — someone to answer the phone for an hour or two. Our congresspersons might not understand what’s happening, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help ourselves and each other. You could very well end up saving a life.

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53 Responses to “Hey Congress, Pull Your Head Out”

  1. Katie says:

    Hey Dr. Phil, I really think you need to do more shows on this, and not just because it’s my personal cause. I think this goes back to the stigma surrounding mental health and related issues. I heard on my local news recently about the mental health cuts going on near me and it’s rediculous! We don’t hear them talking about cutting medical services, but they’re cutting mental health services. Mental illness when it comes to suicide, can be just as deadly as a physical illness and yet people refuse to see that. I would love to volunteer for a suicide hotline, but I’m not sure how to get started.

  2. vince says:


  3. Nancy says:

    Yes, I agree that suicide prevention could use lots more money and one million dollars is certainly a paltry amount, especially when compared to millions earmarked for stupid stuff.

  4. Linda RH says:

    Duly noted. Thanks Dr Phil, you just gave me a mission.

  5. donna says:

    I think MORE money needs to spent on mental health because without the mind functioning properly, how can one expect to function physically? It`s well documented now that severe emotional imbalances can lead to real pain, sleeplessness, unproductivity, just to name a few. With more spending on good resoures made AVAILABLE to everyone, we would feel better and be able to work for ourselves, support ourselves. We then may be able to help identify with someone else who shows high risks harming himself or someone else. Cutting costs will only make more problems worse, not better. To help at a local crises center, some require training, so please take the time! I have “issues” also but am really glad help was there when I needed it, just pick up the phone and call one!

  6. Erin says:

    The sucide hotline saved my life last year while going through depression when my medication ran out. I admire the people that actually volunteer at the suicide hotline. I know I could not do it. Dr. Phil you are right in todays economy those hotlines are the only kind of help that is offered.

    After graduating college and getting off my parents insurance I found out just how expensive it is to be clinclinal depressed and how a lot of insurance companies do not consider depression to be an “illness”. Thank goodness I got a job that has extremly good benefits or I could be in a little bit of trouble. These life lines are sometimes the only help some people can get.

    I agree, $1 million is a joke, expecially when the car dealers (a profitable business) got $2 billion bailout money when the CEO of Ford recieved a $21.8 million dollar salery and in order to get the bailout money he has to take a 30% pay decrease which still ends up being $15.26 million. How about we take the money that we are sending to companies making millions of dollars and give it to a cause that would save people’s lifes.

    I guess that would make sense and why would Congress do something that makes sense. In addition we do not do that because car dealers companies and others like them have a lot of lobbist.

  7. Susani Sacca says:

    Dear Dr Phil,

    Are you kidding me? You MUST get involved in this and personally take this fight up in WASHINGTON, D.C If not you then who I ask?

    In June 2005 YOU YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR depression board SAVED MY LIFE. I was in the swirls of the darkest depression and if it had NOT been for you and your gifts as a doctor you and the world wouldnt be reading these words right now.

    I agree with you a million dollars is a joke. We need to put a face in front of those big wigs in Washington DC and if you need me to speak for the ones who cannot speak than I will tell my story. I have had my therapy, and I am now healed thanks in a large part to you.

    On your website some sort of petition must be created and all visitors to your website should be invited to sign it as voices to join YOU ME WE in WASHINGTON, DC to represent THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE. After every show please also encourage your viewers to sign it and the goal is to collect a million signatures and I know you will surpass that goal in record time…

    I can see stacks and stacks and stacks of signatures that sends a VERY CLEAR message that a million dollars is a joke and these stacks represent OUR AMERICAN PEOPLE from EVERY STATE saying WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH!~

    Whatever it takes? I am willing to stand next to you to help others as you have helped me.

    ARE YOU READY to get politaical with me to make a huge change for humanity?

    Call me.

  8. You are SO right DR. PHIL!

    For six plus years I have unofficially volunteered on Dr. Phil Website 20 – 40+ hours a week, as have others, just talking persons into choosing life. (In hopes, on a wing and a prayer, DO choose life.)

    It is a beautiful thing to watch persons go from giving up on life to becoming a cheerleader for life and fellow cyber angel on Dr. Phil Website sharing THE ANSWER IS TO BE. If you click my name the second poem on above link is about your Dr. Phil Website member team “one for all and all for one”. The woman on your 1,000th & 1,001st show who said you saved her life said too that Dr. Phil Website and I helped her as well. She too has helped and IS helping others playing it forward.

    One of the times you spoke at Crystal Cathedral some counselors had just completed training at crisis center January 15th after you’d written LOVE SMART or FAMILY FIRST. They’ve had New Hope 24/7 since 1965, that isn’t religion specific and is help specific. .


    In my first year psychology course the first chapter had a woman talking about her problems and the professor asked class to diagnose. One student was proud to include about every psychiatric label he’d learned in one paragraph. The professor said, “Could it be she just needs someone to talk to.” You are SO right about the benefits of someone listening and talking.

    On the Dr. Phil Website the moderators and members are a team and you are our coach on your Dr. Phil Show. The moderators send out help information and do welfare checks even in Canada. Asked for a live link of help information and got one when boards revamped in 2005. Yet even with live link the main thing members want is to do is talk and know someone is listening.

    So, today, I’ve checked both Dr. Phil Depression boards twice ready to listen as do others because we’re a team saying SELF MATTERS INCLUDES YOU!!! (Yell it! Spell it! Yet most of all BELIEVE IT!) So from up here in the Dr. Phil Show bleacher seats “HELLOOOO DR. PHIL”. When you posted to me on your blod and twitter I felt like I caught a grand slam home run. Thank you Dr. Phil.

    Even on your blog “it takes a cyber village” and your cyber village is sharing THE ANSWER IS TO BE even on your suicide blogs. Suicide is a lie of depression… don’t buy into it as will cost you your life. What works isn’t one size fits all and sometimes you have to shop around for the perfect fit. CLICK on my name to, hopefully, see beneath first poem Dr. Phil Website poem that THE ANSWER IS TO BE! Inspired by you, Dr. Phil Website and all of us as a team sharing THE ANSWER IS TO BE.

    http://twitter.com/seaangels14 aka SEA

  9. michelle says:

    I think that is an awful amount of money and feel there is another way to get help for them to be funded. You know I do not get the whole mental health, and I have worked with mental health behavioral children, mostly teenage years for ten years. I currently do not have a job, my husband is trying to return to active duty, because we can not afford to make a house payment this month, let alone our lot rent. My husband was told by a mental health person that he can not have signs of post traumatic stress issues two years after Iraq, so I do not understand that either. In the past two weeks, our hose to our radiator blew on our car, I replaced it, and a few days ago our radiator hose blew on our van, I replaced that too, only to find that there is something else because we still have a radiator leak somewhere so our van we can not drive. We have a two and one year old son, and our tire blew today on the car when I was taking my husband to work. We havent been able to pay our electric bill with MidAmerican for the past three months, so I am assuming we will have to make some type of payment plan soon to keep that on. Our boys are eating us out of house and home like they are already teenagers,, ITS CRAZY! SO YEAH, I get being stressed out, and sometimes I just sit and cry like now, but I dont get killing yourself over it. Last winter we lost our home, and it doesnt ever seem to get any better, I think the million dollars could be better used somewhere else. Listen, I dont want anyone feeling sorry, this is what makes us a strong husband and wife, we have struggled through things ever since he returned from Iraq, it is becoming normal. I think there should be help for people that need it, but I hope people realize that it is not worth it.

  10. Nadia says:

    I agree with you Dr Phil.

    Why dont they see the need to allocate more funds to mental health??!?!

    We need to help those among us who need the help. That is first and foremost the compassion of humanity to help one another.

    If they on the hill want to feel more practical in a statistical kind of way….maybe they should realize that some of those needing mental health assitance end up hurting themselves, others be it assault, rape, murder, and suicide. When there is such rage, sadness, anger, hostility, true inner unrest and it is not handled properly and the person is overwhelmed and innerly tormented – they lash out – not even on purpose but because it boils over and pours out…

    Let the Hill realize emergency response of ambulances, police, and follow up law enforcement processes get taxed heavily by this need in society not being met.

    That is …if they cant as you said pull their head out and FEEL for people who need help. Ease suffering, bring peace and balance and wellness….

  11. Irene says:

    I have been stigmatized my whole life due to mental illness as has my son and other family members. It is hurtful they way people think we are just ‘weak’. Its an illness and often a life threatening one.A million dollars is a joke.It should be top of list. we wish. Thank you for so much Dr Phil

  12. TO: Susani Sacca
    August 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Great post, Sue, our Dr. Phil Website movie star who was on 1000th and 1001st Dr. Phil Show. I’m proud of you Sue angel.

    Hugging prayers,
    Cyber Sissy Pixie

  13. Jules says:

    Hi Dr. Phil,

    A few minutes ago you posted on Twitter about the comments for this post and finished by saying “COME ON We are not that stupid”.

    Well, I disagree. We are that stupid.

    Only stupid people would spend over a TRILLION dollars to drop bombs on children in foreign countries and a measley 1 million for the people suffering here at home.

    If we want better priorities in America we need to ask ourselves what Jesus would do and not be bullied by war mongers and hate mongers.

  14. Susani Sacca says:

    Thank You Sissy/Pixie…Ms.Stephenson AKS SEA Sweet Earth Angel

    Those words you say about me are very kind and thoughtful however just as you know all too well YOU being that first line of defense on DR Phil’s depression board sometimes only being the ray of light to a lonely scared souls who have given up almost all hope….


    you selflessly devoted 30-40 hours per week volunteering and caring and sharing and saving lives one person at a time…

    and I say even moretimes than not helping and bringing people along with DR Phil his show and his books back to life…also going to garage sales finding DR PHIL BOOKS and sending them out ALL OVER THIS WORLD ON YOUR DIME to help others…

    YOU are the ROCKSTAR here.

    I am just someone who was way off the path, who lost all coping skills and then in time was truly glad I didnt find a permanant solution to only brief temporary problems.

    This is why I am willing to add my voice to this cause. I am not seeking MOVIESTAR status.

    I am wishing to stand next to those who can make real change and save lives like mine was saved.

    Depression is a real illness like Cancer or heart conditions and the stigma and shame needs to be once and for all removed.


  15. Elisabeth says:

    Hello dr Phil.

    I watch your show whenever I can, and I am a better person because of you. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Would love to be in the audiens if I ever cross the Atlantic and visit America.

    So, about the issue in your blog:
    1 million dollar is just a drop in the ocean…its a shame that your country dont prioritize to take proper care of these sick people.
    I FEEL FOR THESE PEOPLE…THESE HUMAN BEINGS. When they need help the most….there dont get what they need…. ITS SAD. Is this really the USA? You guys seem so perfect from the outside. I guess that picture is not 100% accurat.

    Just a little opinion from Elisabeth in Norway.
    (sorry if the language is bad)

  16. Christine says:

    My husband recently had to use the helpline at his job, because he’s going through a hard time. He’s the kind of person who cant face a real person and talk about his issues. This help line has helped with the situation going on, and has improved our ability to communiate to each other through this difficult time. It’s a pitty that the government doesn’t feel that this isn’t an important issue to fund. The rate of suicides amoung soilders are increasing, and the people loosing their homes, their mariages, and more because of the economy.

    I wanted to ask you something, about guardianship abuse. But I wanted to ask privately because it’s in the courts right now. How can I do that?

  17. Paradoxis says:

    I think the money allocated is ridiculous. It should be no less than one dollar per person in America, because suicide and depression affect more than just the person experiencing it.

    Every single one of us is worth more than one dollar.

    (Says Para from Australia. LOL)

  18. Shelley says:

    People in Congress don’t have a clue about financial hardships. These people have medical insurance for life, they make a good salary, and generally speaking, they always have made a good salary. Politics takes money and people in Congress usually come from cash.

    All this to say that they have no idea what it’s like to be on the verge of losing health insurance or to have none. Even if you have health insurance, mental health care is often covered poorly or not at all. 10 sessions or less to get a life in shambles back on track? Sure, OK.

    $1 million is an absolute joke. I would love to see members of Congress forced to live like most of us are living these days – scared of job loss, pay cuts, loss of health insurance, financial ruin…if they really had to worry about where their next meal was coming from and whether or not they could support their family through the next week, let alone the next month or year, we might see more funding for mental health issues.

    I concur with Dr. Phil’s suggestion that people volunteer at their local suicide crisis prevention center or anywhere that offers mental health services. It’s needed.

  19. Anja says:

    Hi Dr. Phill,

    I´m from the Netherlands and it would be wonderfull if the government gave the suicide prevention hotlines this amount of money, they don´t, but that doesn´t mean they don´t excist, they keep on working, doing a good job. Not only for suicide prevention but for all sorts of help to people who are facing troubles. That has nothing to do with money I guess, getting lots of money on the other hand could help to expand, but money can´t buy anything…. it helps but it’s about helping out each other and that doesn’t cost that much… not in my country… I don’t know about the USA… Of course these help lines need money to cover the costs, this doesn’t need to be a big amount as long as they are not in debt. I have no clue what the costs are in your country! I support the help lines and suicide prevention centers, they do really important work!

  20. phyllis elliott says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,
    I am a therapist and a family advocate for families who have mental health issues. A million dollars is an insult. This country doesn’t take mental illness seriously. In my work with families we deal with self destructive behavior, suicide threats and people who can’t afford to get help. It saddens me to know that there is still stigma and lack of support for these families. My agency does the best it can but we are a not for profit and funding can be an issue. On another note, for servicemen and their families, there is an organization called Give an Hour that offers free mental health services. It is made up of social workers around the country and I am part of that. Keep up the good work, if we all band together maybe we can see real change.

  21. Susani Sacca says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,

    Our Depression board (I mean) your depression board we are a family on there many of us for years have stated that we are all willing to come and do some sort of think tank with you in California.

    We have secrectly and sometimes often out and out actually begged if one day we all could meet eachother. In a safe secure place since many of us have supported eachother for years on your website on the depressionboard.

    PIXIE/SISSY/AKA EARTH ANGEL who I have dubed our boards HEAD ANGEL HERO LEADER has a list of willing people interested in coming and sharing there views on a number of mental health topics, and to add to this BLOGS TOPIC and wake up WASHINGTON WE ARE CALLING!~

    Okay no more, I said what I needed too and I humbly await your response.

  22. vince says:

    Piano that survived atomic bomb plays on for peace

    TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – A 77-year-old piano that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and has become a symbol for peace is heading to New York next year as the city marks the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    When the United States dropped the bomb on the Japanese city on August 6, 1945, the Yamaha upright piano was in the blast radius. It still retains very low levels of radiation and shards of glass are forever embedded in the black lacquer.

    “During the bombing of Hiroshima, everything within two kilometers from ground zero was burned and destroyed. This piano was within that boundary and miraculously survived,” said Mitsunori Yagawa, who restored the instrument and tours across Japan, playing it at peace concerts.
    =======================================================——–thats music to my ears doc what about yours?

  23. vince says:

    one thing for sure till God is ready for us we aint going nowhere, adults need to stop planting these thoughts in kids heads hell he has enough to worry about with out all this crap, if a child talks about doing this spank there rears and let them know it aint the way to try to get out early, but God will not stand in there way if they really want out i know for sure yall, i tried!

  24. FosterBoys says:

    Dr. Phil,

    Why do you think we’re not interested in hearing you discuss politics? Do you think you wouldn’t be able to be impartial? I think we’re all pretty sure of what your party affiliation is, but that doesn’t make us Democrats love you any less. When you say something we disagree with, we chalk it up to differences of opinion, and move on.

  25. Alice says:

    As a Canadian, I often have to just shake my head when I read American news. Although I’m sure that funding for suicide prevention could use a boost here as well as everywhere ( the recession is affecting everyone), I sometimes marvel at the stupidity of your government. A million dollars? Would the idiot who came up with that number actually stand up in public to admit it? I doubt it.
    I volunteered for a local helpline 15 years ago. At the time, the majority of the callers said they thought of suicide. I shudder to think how much the number of callers would have increased by now. My experience was that few callers really wanted to end their life. What they most wanted was to be heard and not feel so alone. They wanted to hear that there was hope and that they could talk to someone who would LISTEN, wouldn’t judge them and, if they chose to, would help them find the appropriate agencies and programs where they could find help.
    Although I have moved away from the area where I volunteered, the helpline I worked on is still going as far as I know. Training was free and required a commitment of 2 hours a week, for a 1 year period. In that year, I met amazing people who also volunteered and the experience led me in a different career path.
    Every city in Canada has a crisis line and I suspect it to be similar in the US. They train the volunteers and supervise the shifts. It is a simple thing to listen but invaluable to those who need to be heard.

  26. Alison Sweeney says:

    Dear Dr Phil,

    Thank you for addressing this extremely important area. It should be just basic common sense that with so many stressers in society these days (fewer jobs, economic down turn, etc.) that it would create a huge demand for individuals seeking help. Then to find that a measily $1mil is spread out (this is ridiculous in that we are talking trillions nowadays….$1bil seems like a drop in the bucket so $1mil doesn’t even show up on the radar screen).

    I really appreciate you bringing forward this need…we had no idea! It is unfortunate that there appears to be a stigma related to mental distress and thus funding does not cover these individuals which I feel ever individual suffers themselves or a family member or friend).

    You have been so proactive in bringing mental health to the spotlight with your show over the years. I truly respect your continued advocacy in bringing this issue to the forefront as well…don’t let it pass by…there are so many that would march along with you to help secure more funds for this critical area.

    God bless, Alison

  27. JoAnn says:

    I work on a sexual assault hot line and go out to the hospitals when rape kits are done as a volunteer advocate and crisis counselor . When the suicide hot line is over whelmed the calls come to our lines. I gladly take any extra work to save a life. When we were trained we were given all the tools we needed to help people who think that death is the only option left for them. Did you know in times of stress rapes increase as well? Lots of work to go around and not much money. We all need to volunteer.


  28. Tracy S says:

    The government needs to do more for the mental health services. 1 million dollars is a slap in the face to these services. In truth I beleive that the government screwed up big time by giving the car company CEO’s 2 billion dollars in bail out money. They should have given that money to the taxpayer which in turn would have stimulated the economy…but oh no, our government had to give that money to these companies who’s CEO’s make millions of dollars every year. Suicides are up, because people are losing their jobs, homes, and having a hard time paying bills and putting food on the table for their families. THESE ARE VERY TUFF TIMES!

  29. Donna says:

    We ARE that stupid Dr. Phil. We spend billions on petty ant crud, yet let people in crisis suffer.

    To be honest with you, I can only see this getting worse if we do get a nationalized healthcare system. Then we will have a system with all the efficiency of the post office and the compassion of the IRS.

    Can you imagine what will happen to the mental health care system then? Shudder!

  30. Linda Rose says:

    I know someone who volunteers on the Calgary help line and says too many of the callers have given up and want to die. How sad. Without someone to talk to many more people would kill themselves because they feel helpless. Bless all those volunteers who care enough about others to devote some time listening to them.Who knows how many lives were saved because of these self-less volunteers.

    I had a family member who suffered from schizophrenia and several who suffered with depression of whom some didn’t want to live . Mental illness can lead to depression and suicide. Of course a $1 million won’t go far. In Canada there aren’t enough mental health doctors or any other kind of doctors for that matter even though we have a publicly funded medical system.

    There will always be people who can’t cope with life’s circumstances. Some families ,like mine, seem to have an inherited tendancy towards mental illness; especially depression. Other people have grown up having everything handed to them and can’t cope when troubles come in adult life. In other words they were spoiled.

    What is needed is education to teach young people how to cope especially in relationships and rearing children. They also need survival skills so if the job goes or illness strikes they don’t fall apart. You, Dr. Phill have done alot to fill this void.

    Coping skills should have been learned at home in families but because of the high divorce rate and lack of understanding of how to rear children we now have at least two generations of parents who didn’t know what it means to be a family, how to rear children or cope with problems in life. Too many have grown up with a sense of entitlement to what life “owes them”. They get depressed when life doesn’t go the way they hoped. I find this very disturbing.

    I am learning also that some people don’t want anyone telling them how to live or rear children. They aren’t even willing to learn the life skills that would help them cope with life’s uncertainty and they aren’t willing to teach the next generation they are bringing up. Much mental anxiety could have been avoided if people were willing to listen and learn and change the way they live. Because we live in a free society no one wants to be told what to do but when things go wrong people look to the government to solve their problems or they crack under the pressure.

    Then there are the mental illnesses that came about because of chemical inbalances in the brain and /or extreme trauma or genectics gone amuck. Many of these people should be under the care of a physician but instead are left on their own to try to figure out life. They are the real tragic cases because they don’t have the ability to learn coping skills neither was their mental illness brought on by their behavior. They are not getting the help needed and too often are even shunned by society because of being different. Feelig hopeless they give up on life. Some commit suicide. This is another way money could be of use in providing care for these unfortunate people.

    The point is more money for mental health won’t solve problems ;but it can help provide a temporary bandaide. It may possibly save someones life so they have a chance to find a solution instead of killing theirself.

  31. Annie says:

    Dr. Phil,
    You are like a sleeping dragon that has awakened when you bring some of your topics to light. Congress should be ashamed of them selves. I have been watching and listening to their nonsense for over 2 years and they just make me want to puke over the things they decided for “US”. I think their job position in life protects them from suffering like the average American. They have absolutely no idea what it takes a family to survive out here today. I think they should all walk a mile in the situation’s shoes before making decisions as to what, where, and how much of our dollars are spent. I bet none of them have been on the other side of a phone conversation with some whose whole life has been turned upside down. I just finished reading an article that states where some of our money is going by way of grants. Absolutely pathetic! I look at these people in control in congress and I have to ask myself where are their brains? These are supposed to be intelligent individuals that we put in there to be the guardians of this country. It is very un-nerving and depressing to listen to a grown man try to describe, while choking back tears, the situation he finds himself in due to others stupidity. These people are not mentally ill. They are just hard working folks feeling so helpless and see no light at the end of the tunnel that they resort to desperate acts like suicide. These people need someone on the other end of the phone to really hear them and let them know that they matter in this world and that things will turn around. Some times they just need to hear someone telling them that they matter enough to just hang in there, we hear you. It is a shame that congress doesn’t do the same. God bless the volunteers.

  32. Annie says:

    Alice from Canada,
    You have inspired me to look into becoming a hotline volunteer. I would like to suggest to all of Dr. Phil’s readers that they think of some way to help out a neighbor, friend or family member during this time of crisis. We can’t count on the government to do what we already know how to do at our best and that is to answer the common man’s cry for help. When one American cries we all cry. Some times just inviting someone over for a meal can inspirer them to keep going.
    God bless to you all.

  33. Tsukihime says:

    I don’t know about Washington, I’m kept busy here in Florida trying to keep our state government from cutting costs to any and all mental health programs. Fortunately we’ve had some success so maybe we SHOULD take it to the next level. Para, thank you so much for your input, it’s appreciated, you don’t have to live in a country to want to help out! Just ask a war vet…

  34. Kenny Floreeny says:

    Hey Dr Phil, I just wanted to let you know that I think you have the best show ever. You are a huge role model to me and my son and i’d just like to thank you for doing what you do. Stay cool.

    ~Kenny Floreeny

  35. vince says:

    God would kill every man/woman/child to make a point too, hell fire he proved that mannnnny moons ago didnt he? but he did keep just one family alive that had faith!

  36. vince says:

    i too find that last post i sent ya hard to beleive doc lol.

  37. Barbara Lineberry says:

    Dr. Phil

    Once again I am outraged at the stupidity and lack of understanding and care our politian’s have for the mental well being of the people in this country. They have no problem spending our tax dollars on “things” but when it comes down to helping your average every day people the money stops. It would have been better to not give anything to suicide prevention than to basically tell the thousands of people that think about suicide every day, that they just aren’t important enough to spend any money on and they just do not care if they become healthier more productive citizens. “Did someone write stupid on my forehead” (Dr. Phil)

    It’s time that we stood up and our voices heard by Washington, DC. We need to let them know in no uncertain terms that if they can’t get the job done and done right they will lose their jobs. We put these people in office and we have the power to remove them from office. We have to do our part, we can’t sit back and say Dr. Phil or someone else will let our “elected” officials know how we feel about this issue. We must write these people and call their offices and let them know that this is just not acceptable.

    Our politian’s need to be educated and so does this country that mental illness costs this country millions of dollars each year, not to mention the pain and sorrow it costs families. Suicide just doesn’t end the pain of the person that chooses this way out, it leaves husbands, wife’s, children, parents other family members and friends devastated.

    If we do not have good mental health, we will not have good physical health. Without mental and physical health we are an unhappy, unhealthy and unproductive society and we all know where that leads.

    I could write pages telling my own story of mental illness but that isn’t necessary. I’ve been fortunate enough, most of the time, to get the help I’ve needed with my illness but it breaks my heart when I hear people reaching out in pain and suffering and saying, “I can’t afford to get help or treatment.” This is so very wrong.

    Dr. Phil, thank you for bringing this to your viewers. Mental health issues touch every family in America and around the world at some point and it’s time that the care for those suffering is made available when it’s needed.

  38. Pam says:

    I AGREE 110%!!!!
    Thanks for the suggestion also. I’ve been wanting to help/to give back somehow and after I type this I am going to see what my opportunities are to help out/voluntee in this area.

  39. Sally says:

    You should have a show with this topic in the near future! You actually know more on the subject than the general public. Your blog alone has encouraged people to reach out to others so imagine what a show would do. Those that are suicidal might seek help and many might consider volunteering. This blog site has inspired me to look into volunteering with a local hotline. First I must discuss it with my husband. Thank you Dr. Phil for the way you help others. You have had a major impact on my life and I am so grateful!

  40. Our prisons are full of people with mental health issues that couldn’t find help on the outside. I have seen first hand how these poor people are treated in the state prison in Texas. They are housed in a dark, dirty, hot (no air conditioning) and lonely cell. When the prisoner admits that he has suicide thoughts, he is stripped of his clothes for days to teach him a lesson. It’s awful! You can’t imagine until you see it for yourself. Dr. Phil you have the power and resources to do something about this. I’m sure you know that Texas is on the bottom of the list of all states for providing resources for mental health.

  41. Melissa says:

    I say get involved if it’s close to your heart, and it is. Most people do not have a platform to speak from. You do.

    The $1 million seems to be something the politicians can check off their list. They can feel good about themselves and tell others in the next election what they did for the American people. But really? That’s it?

    For those who don’t get mental illness, it’s because you haven’t walked it. But it is real. Thanks for the encouragement to get involved. I’m ending a season of my life and all my little ones will finally be in school. This may be a place I can give back.

  42. Jeri says:

    Another reminder of why we need to rethink the way we look at taxation. Taxes provide for a great deal of GOOD for the citizens in a democracy.

  43. vince says:

    By PETER ENAV, Associated Press Writer Peter Enav, Associated Press Writer – 2 mins ago
    SHIAO LIN, Taiwan – Family members holding photos of the dead picked their way through the ruins of a landslide-flattened village Saturday where hundreds were killed in Taiwan’s worst typhoon in a half-century.

    A few dozen people came to Shiao Lin, which lost more than half its population, to hold a simple ceremony that many believe has the power to bring back the souls of the dead.

    “Can you hear me?” one woman called to her grandchild in footage from AP Television News. “I’m calling your name. Please come back.”

    Some 380 people were killed in Shiao Lin after Typhoon Morakot pummeled the island last weekend, causing tons of earth to crash down from the surrounding mountains.
    =================================———————————— THIS IS THE NEWS THAT KILLS ME Dr Phil, God hears all there cries, and man just tryes to find a way to save him self instead of trying to save the world with all God sent here to assist.

  44. vince says:

    1 hr 8 mins ago
    DAVENPORT, Calif. – Thick, white smoke filled the air as firefighters battled a Northern California wildfire in steep, rugged terrain.

    CalFire spokeswoman Julie Hutchinson says the fire didn’t spread overnight, but was still only 15 percent contained Saturday morning. No homes had been destroyed.
    ======================= i bet a prayer would almost work a real miricle on that fire about now Dr Phil if people ment it with all there hearts, it seems i learned in church the power of prayer relly works and faster when many pray togather, i beleive and trust DO YALL?

  45. Crystal Hattery says:

    Hi Dr. Phil first off I just want to say sorry that I am just now getting to read your blogs..but I do read them when I can..:)
    I have to agree with Nancy.. I think this is a serious problem out there and finally the government is seeing it as well.. I know pleanty of people who are struggling to make ends meat out here and some that are just barely getting by..(yes we are one of those) For some I don’t know how they are going to make it out of this
    economic depression and others who are just managing day to day..This is a serious matter that needs serious attention..

  46. Susani Sacca says:

    DR PHIL,

    There are a number of (not for profit organzations)

    IE RED CROSS that have the software for generating online petions effectively to have on the original site (YOURS) than to also link up with various networking sites FACEBOOK TWITTER ETC to link to original petion place, add signatures and ask your friends on the site to also sign etc..to collect eletronically. With a TALLY shown to potential signer, along with a simple MISSION STATEMENT AS TO WHY THIS PETION IS BEING CIRCUALTED.

    ONLY A MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE WHOLE USA, for suicide prevention etc and what is your goal for collecting said signatures.

    Then you can have USA and address’s along with the WORLDWIDE COMMUNITY SHARING IN THERE OUT RAGE AS WELL.

    This topic has stayed with me and let me know when and how I may help you with this fight.

  47. GREAT IDEA & COMMENT Susani Sacca
    @ August 16, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Dr. Phil has spoken on behalf of Red Cross before too, during Hurricane Katrina, etc. plus DR. PHIL FOUNDATION does special donations as well. I’ve made 2 donations to Dr. Phil Foundation and you can say who you want donation to go to. GREAT IDEA SUE if I understand correctly to earmark donations to Red Cross for Suicide Prevention efforts. Donating to Suicide prevention helps both children and parents and relatives of children because suicide effects everyone…

    Too, though, maybe Senator Byrd and other Congress persons could do without one less monument to selves and quit playing with tax dollars hard earned by their fellow Americans like monopoly money to bargain and barter with. THE ONLY SPECIAL INTEREST OF CONGRESS SHOULD BE THE BEST INTEREST OF AMERICA AND AMERICANS.

    Maybe Congress persons should quit choosing policies based on whatever special interest Lobbies offer the best “personal incentives” to them. The best way to invest in America is to invest Americans. Feel free to quote me whoever wants to as per only special interest and best way to invest in America and, hopefully, Congress will FINALLY practice “HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY” politics. Hey, I want the healthcare plan Congress and our President get since I’m/we’re part of WE THE PEOPLE too.


    Ms. Stephenson aka Cyber SisSEA Pixie

  48. vince says:


  49. Susani Sacca says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,


    This is a grassroots online “Petition Site” which is linked partnered to 35o non profit organazations to promote effective change on all levels for humanity.

    They interface with all networking sites and keep a running total of number of signatures obtained , IE SENDING MESSAGE TO THOSE LAME BRAINS IN WASHINGTON DC 1,ooo,ooo.oo bucks for the whole COUNTRY FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION geez,

    I also see possibly using this site as a $$$$$ saver and hey to me that is a great thing!

  50. Lynda says:

    It would be good in this day and age of insecurity, stress and things falling apart around us if the government would realize the importance of mental health. Some would argue they are making it worse. Not only giving more funds toward mental health, but addressing the subject of mental health and how important it is to get assessed and treated, like if you had something wrong with your foot. You would go to the doctor, but people are hesitant to mention to their own doctor – let alone see a specialist – that they may be severely depressed or have a mental health problem. People continue to see people with bipolar and other disorders as being crazy, mental cases. The people who seek treatment at least know something is wrong and will admit it – there are far too many people walking around that are ticking time bombs because they won’t admit they have a problem and get treated.

    Dr. Phil please stress the importance of mental health and educate the public about the brain imbalances etc. that create these situations. A lot of people believe Asperger’s is a mental disorder and not a neurological condition. All of this needs to be discussed more openly.

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