Rep. Napolitano Thanks President Obama for Issuing Proclamation, Announces May Mental Health Month Events Calendar
(Washington, D.C.) Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32) thanked President Barack Obama for proclaiming May as National Mental Health Awareness Month and announced the calendar of mental health events for May.
“We applaud and thank President Obama and his administration for continuing to fight against stigma by issuing this critically important proclamation,” Napolitano said. “We must continue to work toward erasing stigma and promote mental wellness so all who are suffering know it is okay to seek help. In May we pay special recognition to the critical efforts of the mental health community and thank them for all their hard work throughout the year. We urge everyone to join in support for mental health awareness by wearing lime green this May.”
Since 1949 advocates across the country have used May Mental Health Awareness Month to draw attention to mental health issues affecting millions of Americans. Below is a list of Congressional events that will be taking place during the month of May:
May 7, 2014 – National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Briefing and panel discussion to highlight the impact of trauma on positive youth development, systems of care, programs aimed at improving care coordination, and the service capacity of our current mental health system.
May 8, 2014 – Native American Youth Mental Health Panel. The panel will examine ways to curb the high rates of suicide among Native American youth and promote suicide prevention.
May 21, 2014 – Military/Veteran Mental Health Awareness Day. The Military Mental Health Caucus will host a briefing about the ongoing mental health crisis in the military and what is being done to address it.
May 29, 2014 – LGBT Family Acceptance & Youth Suicide Prevention. Briefing and panel discussion will focus on issues including anti-bullying efforts to prevent suicide among LGBT youth.
Napolitano has been 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 in Congress. Her 2001 program providing mental health and suicide prevention services on-site in four schools in her congressional district has expanded to 26 schools with assistance from Los Angeles County Mental Health, which now serves as a pilot program for H.R. 628, the Mental Health in Schools Act of 2013.
H.R. 628 currently has 83 cosponsors in the House and the support of mental health organizations from across the country. Senator Al Franken (D-MN.) has introduced the Senate version of the bill (S.195), which currently has 22 cosponsors. Napolitano’s mental health efforts also focus on issues of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) for veterans and their families.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
For updates and the complete Congressional May Mental Health Awareness Month calendar, visit https://napolitano.house.gov/legislative-work/may-mental-health-awareness-month.
To learn more about the Mental Health in Schools Act, visit https://napolitano.house.gov/legislative-work/mental-health-schools-act.