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May Mental Health Awareness Month

What is May Mental Health Awareness Month?

Since 1949, May has been observed as National Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when advocates and activists across the country draw attention to the mental health issues that affect as many as one in four Americans. Today, more people die from suicide in the United States than from traffic accidents or homicides, and we lose 22 veterans to suicide daily.

Unfortunately, because of the stigma associated with mental illness, many people are too ashamed or embarrassed to seek the help they need for themselves or their loved ones. National Mental Health Awareness Month is a time when we work together to break through that stigma. We express compassion for those who struggle with mental health issues, and we draw attention to the proven methods that can help change their lives for the better.
 

Congressional Events for May Mental Health Awareness Month:

May 1, 2017 – Children's Mental Health Panel. Co-hosted by Congressional Mental Health Caucus Chair Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32) and Congressman John Katko (R-NY-24), in conjunction with NAMI, Mental Health America, National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. There will be a briefing and panel discussion that will focus on the need for integration of mental health and physical health for children to improve long-term outcomes.

May 2, 2017 – Green Ribbon Day, featuring a group photo with Congressional Members and Mental Health Advocates. Co-hosted by the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health in conjunction with Congressional Mental Health Caucus Chair Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32) and Congressman John Katko (R-NY-24). Member are encouraged to show their support for mental health by joining mental health advocates for a group photo and wearing a green ribbon all day.

May 3, 2017 – City Thrive Initiatives to Improve Behavioral Health. Hosted by the Cities Thrive Initiative in coordination with the Congressional Addiction, Treatment, & Recovery Caucus, and the Congressional Mental Health Caucus. There will be a briefing and panel discussion that will highlight local initiatives to improve behavioral health.

May 16, 2017 – Peer Support Across Generations: How Children, Transitioning Youth, Parents & Adults Can Benefit. Co-hosted by Congressional Mental Health Caucus Chair Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32) and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM-03), in conjunction with the Depression and Support Alliance. There will be a briefing and panel discussion that will focus on lived experience with Peer Support Specialists and how this program helped on the road to recovery.

May 17, 2017 – Military Mental Health Awareness Day. Military Mental Health Caucus Co-Chairs, Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) & Thomas Rooney (R-FL-17), will co-host a short presentation and mixer highlighting the National Intrepid Center of Excellence's Art Therapy Program, including a demonstration with service and therapy dogs.

May 17, 2017 – Maternal Mental Health: Sustainable Federal, State & Local Programs. Co-hosted by Congresswomen Katherine Clark (D-MA-05), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-03), and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-43) from the Congressional Maternity Care Caucus, in conjunction with the Congressional Mental Health Caucus. There will be a briefing and panel discussion highlighting local programs to help improve maternal mental health and combat common illnesses like Post-Partum Depression.

May 18, 2017 – Medicare & Mental Health. Hosted by Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY-20). More info TBA.

May 24, 2017 – Transforming Crisis Mental Health Care. Hosted by the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, in coordination with Congressional Mental Health Caucus Chair Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32) and Congressman John Katko (R-NY-24). There will be a briefing and panel discussion highlighting Action Alliance's recent report, Crisis Now: Transforming Services is Within Our Reach.

Join the conversation and spread the word on Twitter by following me at @gracenapolitano. Also, please use the official Mental Health Awareness Month hashtag #mhm2017 to participate.

Materials related to these events will be posted online, and recorded videos for some events will be available online following the events. Please continue to check this web page for updates.