Bill Cassidy: Senate Republican chokes up as he talks about how mental illness impacted his family


A Republican senator turned emotional as he spoke in deeply personal terms about the importance of mental well being care in The united states.

Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who is slated to acquire more than in January as position member of the influential Wellness, Instruction, Labor, and Pensions Committee (Support) Committee, told CNN’s Pamela Brown, “every one a single of us has a relatives record. A cherished 1, a good friend, someone you know, that has serious psychological disease.”

For Cassidy, the problem is personalized. His nephew died by suicide many years ago, and the Louisiana senator is “still psychological just after all these yrs. But everyone has this kind of an emotional tale.”

A licensed medical doctor, Cassidy formerly labored in hospitals for the uninsured. He pressured the importance of dealing with mental and physical health and fitness in tandem, noting that “having critical psychological sickness generally prospects to severe actual physical ailment.”

Very last calendar year, the US observed 14 suicide deaths for every 100,000 men and women, according to knowledge from the US Facilities for Ailment Handle and Avoidance. Globally, approximately 800,000 individuals die from suicide annually, and in 2020, there had been 1.2 million makes an attempt globally.

The loss of life of Cassidy’s nephew, coupled with his function with vulnerable populations as a medical professional, has designed psychological overall health a single of his leading legislative priorities.

“We have this emotion, and there’s almost nothing to do about it. Or, we can say we’re heading to endeavor to do anything about it,” he told CNN.

In Could, Cassidy, along with Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, released laws to broaden and increase on a bipartisan mental well being evaluate that had expired in September.

“Whether or not it’s passed, at the conclude of the year, I simply cannot notify you that,” Cassidy informed CNN. “If not, we will reauthorize it once more this coming 12 months.”

As position member, Cassidy will work alongside the committee’s chairman, progressive Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

When requested how the pair will locate typical floor, Cassidy instructed CNN that even though he may perhaps disagree with Sanders on the “prescription” for many healthcare problems, they very likely will concur on the “diagnosis.”

“If it is a thing which is superior for the United States of The united states, I will perform to that solution,” Cassidy explained.

Editor’s Be aware: If you or an individual you know is having difficulties with suicidal feelings or mental health matters, be sure to phone the Suicide & Disaster Lifeline at 988 or 800-273-8255 to join with a educated counselor, or pay a visit to