Commentary

May 23, 2014

Observing National Mental Health Awareness Month

Kathleen Sebelius
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

During Mental Health Awareness Month, we recognize the significant advances our nation has made in our understanding of mental illness and in improving support and care for individuals with mental health problems. It is also an important opportunity to renew our commitment to addressing the many challenges people with mental illness can face every day.

This past year, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supported a number of major initiatives to strengthen the mental health of all Americans:

  • Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans now have access to affordable health care – many for the first time – and plans on the Health Insurance Marketplaces are required to cover mental health and substance use disorder services.
  • In January, the President announced a comprehensive plan to increase access to mental health treatment and services in his ‘Now is the Time’ initiative to support children, families, and communities in response to recent gun violence tragedies.
  • In June, the Obama Administration launched a national conversation about mental health that resulted in over 100 community discussions in cities all across the country. These discussions are designed to increase awareness and reduce the stigma often associated with mental health conditions and make it easier for citizens to access local treatment and services.
  • In November, HHS partnered with the Department of Labor and the Treasury to issue the final rule to implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). MHPAEA makes it easier for Americans to get the care they need by removing certain limits on insurance coverage for substance use and mental health treatment and services.

For more information about mental health, visit www.mentalhealth.gov.

This year, our work continues. On May 8, communities around the country celebrated National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, which was created to shine a national spotlight on the importance of children’s mental health. This year’s national focus examined the experiences of young adults with mental or substance use challenges involving housing, education, employment, and access to treatment.

Recently, we also released – in conjunction with the Departments of Education and Justice – new grant opportunities to increase school-based mental health supports and to expand mental health literacy to help Americans better understand the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and how to access needed help.

Still, there is much work to do. Millions of Americans are impacted by mental illness. Our service men and women and their families are particularly at risk for mental and substance use disorders. Yet, many people facing these conditions are not getting the help they need. Our Department will continue to lead the effort to bring mental illness out of the shadows, improve access to care and spread the word that treatment works and recovery is possible.

If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1‑800‑273‑8255. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To locate mental health services in your community, visit www.samhsa.gov. For more information on mental Health Month visit www.hhs.gov.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

BASH: Protecting our aircraft, Airmen

U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Bari Wald David Briseño, wildlife biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture and head of Marchs’ Bird/Anti-Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) program, prepares to fire a 12-gauge ‘shell cracker’ into the air with his shotgun. Firing ‘shell crackers’ is one of many pyrotechnic methods used in the BASH program to...
 
 

452 AMW lineage began in World War II England

(With the this year’s military ball theme, “A Legacy for the future: 452nd Bombardment Group,” and the ball only 11 weeks away, it seems appropriate to re-print an 11-part series tracing its lineage. The series was first run in the Beacon in 2007. Take this journey with us.) The 452nd Air Mobility Wing started as...
 
 

Official says: Tobacco use harms military readiness

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Because tobacco use is harmful to military readiness, the Defense Department has an added responsibility to curb its use, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs said today, noting that service members are more likely to use tobacco products than civilians. Tobacco use can lead to excess oral cavity disease and...
 

 
Photo courtesy of AFN
MC2(SW/AW)

AFN does Comic-Con, brings home the goods

Photo courtesy of AFNMC2(SW/AW) Stephen Hale interviews Adelaide Kane, who plays Mary, Queen of Scots, in the dramatic TV series Reign at the 2014 ComicCon International in San Diego, California. The American Forces Network is ...
 
 

Social media guidance on political campaigns, elections

Reservists on active duty for 30 or more days may generally express their personal views on public issues or political candidates via social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter or personal blogs, much the same as they would be permitted to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper. If a social media site/post...
 
 

Go After the OC!M

“If the only reason you’re avoiding taking on a challenge is because the idea scares you, then that’s the reason to take it on.” That line comes from Steve Farber’s The Radical Leap, a great little book on leadership that follows the journey of a man who stands at the edge of his future but...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin