Sending a Letter to the Editor

Send letters to the editor of any publication that you read. Weekly community newspapers, trade magazines, national newspapers are good examples. Broadcast news programs (60 Minutes, All Things Considered) and other media outlets also broadcast letters.

NOTE: Include your contact information. Publications need to call and verify the author's identity before printing a letter to the editor. Only your name and city will be printed if your letter is published.

NOTE: Be sure to replace the below opening sentence with a strong statement of your own that refers to an article or editorial that appears in a publication. Your opening statement can take issue with a comment from someone interviewed for the story, add to the discussion by pointing out something readers would need to know, disagree with an editorial position, or point out an error or misrepresentation in an article. Examples:

  • I was disappointed to see that The Post's May 18 editorial "Depression in the Workplace" omitted some important facts.
  • I strongly agree with (author's name) view on the way to address mental health issues. ("Name of Op-Ed," date)
  • I am encouraged to see our nation's mental health addressed in The Post's March 23 article "Depression in America."

Example Letter

Dear Editor,

Our mental health needs to be made a national priority. [Thank you for publishing "(Headline from the article in your local paper)," p. 1, Feb. 17, 2006.] I believe that biomedical research will profoundly transform the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders, paving the way for a cure.

The need for transformative, innovative research is urgent; each year, as many as 57 million Americans meet criteria for some mental disorder, with roughly 12 million reporting symptoms so severe as to cause significant disability and interference with everyday living. Similarly, the economic costs of mental disorders are estimated at over $150 billion, with most due to the loss of economic productivity as a result of the illnesses. We know that mental disorders can also be fatal. Each year more Americans die from suicide than from homicide. In sum, these are real disorders requiring life-saving treatments.

We can either invest in research now or pay a greater price later through increased health care costs and treatment, homelessness, lost productivity, and suicide.

everyminute.org is a grassroots organization mobilizing mental health advocates, organizing them into a lobbying power with the goal of encouraging Congressional leaders to increase mental health research funding. They are collecting actual signatures through an innovative signature capture tool on their website, http://www.everyminute.org .

Sincerely,
Name
Address
City, State, ZIP
Daytime phone number