Mental health is a critical issue that too often goes ignored.
Congresswoman Napolitano is the founder and Chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, where she promotes access to mental health for children and adolescents, improved mental health resources for veterans and seniors, and increased mental health coverage for all. After learning one in three Latina adolescents (ages 9-11) had contemplated suicide, in 2001 she secured federal funding to create a pilot program to provide on-site, culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services and suicide prevention services for students. With assistance from LA County Mental Health, her successful program, which began in four schools has now expanded to 25 schools throughout the San Gabriel Valley and Southeast LA County. It now serves as a model for H.R. 1211, the Mental Health in Schools Act. Napolitano also works closely with the 32nd District Mental Health Consortium, a dedicated group of local mental health professionals and advocates who advise the Congresswoman on public mental health policy and related issues.
Napolitano has been very active in securing mental health parity in the Affordable Care Act, promoting mental health legislation, and working with prominent figures to increase funding and access to mental health services. After the tragic Newtown shooting, in 2013 Napolitano was appointed to serve as vice-chair of the House Democratic Gun Violence Prevention Task Force to ensure mental health remained a critical part of the conversation on gun violence prevention.
Napolitano remains committed to continuing to reduce the harmful stigma related to mental illness and educating public officials, communities, and families on warning signs and symptoms and that it is ok to seek help.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).