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.


 
 

 
Tammy_Duckworth,_official_portrait,_113th_Congress

Knowing the facts: National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, was deployed to Iraq as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard in 2004. One of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Fr...
 
 

452nd felt early frost in Cold War

(Ninth in an 11-part series that was first run in the Beacon in 2007) Two weeks after the D-Day invasion, 47 B-17s from the 452nd Bombardment Group and other Army Air Forces units were destroyed by German aircraft at a largely undefended Russian airfield. The attack, which began about 12:30 a.m. June 22, 1944, destroyed...
 
 

Air Force to implement TDY policy changes

The Air Force recently implemented two TDY policy changes that will impact travel reimbursements for Airmen. The first change, which took effect Oct. 1, made changes to the Joint Travel Regulations, Reimbursable and Incidental Expense Policy. The second will be a change in long-term TDY per diem expenses and take effect Nov. 1. Under the...
 

 
running

Lacing up: Finding your ‘WooHoo’ moment

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Natasha Stannard For those who run with me, they know I can get a bit noisy. A celebratory “WooHoo” is a must at the start of taking any hill. The drumbeat of sneakers on the pavement, labore...
 
 
Dom-Violence-Aware-Month-photo

Domestic Violence awareness Month: How to help a friend who is being abused

Here are some ways to help a friend who is being abused: •Set up a time to talk. Try to make sure you have privacy and won’t be distracted or interrupted. •Let your friend know you’re concerned about her safety. Be hone...
 
 
(Courtesy photo/Joe Mora)

Shadowy figure blocks exit to room in March Field building

(Courtesy photo/Joe Mora) A camera captures what appears to be a shadowy figure (left side) sitting in one of several chairs lined up against a wall in a building on March Air Reserve Base Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The image wa...
 




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