Presidential Proclamation: Mental Health Awareness Month

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, so it seems the most fitting time for us to launch our conversation about finding solutions to the problems of our mental health care system. Currently, the U.S. government and the governments of the states are giving unprecedented attention to addressing mental health concerns. In this month and those to come, our Care for Your Mind community will strive to make policymakers understand the perspectives of, and challenges facing, individuals living with mental health conditions and their families. Your participation is invaluable.

It is our pleasure to share with you President Obama’s Proclamation for Mental Health Awareness Month. In yesterday’s CFYM inaugural Expert Perspective, Ron Manderscheid gave an overview of access issues for people seeking mental health care services. The President provides encouraging words, indicating that his administration sees some of the same problems we do. He writes, “We must ensure people have access to the care they need….” “During National Mental Health Awareness Month,” the Proclamation reads, “we shine a light on these issues, stand with men and women in need, and redouble our efforts to address mental health problems in America.”

For individuals struggling with a mental health condition and for those of us seeking to build a better mental health care system, “getting help starts with a conversation.”

Check out President Barack Obama’s proclamation for Mental Health Month, and provide your feedback on

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Stephen Bonin
Stephen Bonin

Ye! Starts with a conversation. The fact that we live in a time of words flying in cyber space, via satellite t.v., still through hard copy periodicals and books, we advocates must cleverly infiltrate civic organizations, religious groups, and other noble volunteer opportunities, in which we can make friends with goodwill-minded people, then tap the moment to reveal our stories and invite our new friends to our mental illness/health support groups.

We will find, also, as we make friends in noble organizations--I'm coming from a perspective of one who was dismissed from his career at age 41--that the people we're making friends with in Optimist Club, Rotary, church ministries, Citizens Police Academy, etc., have stories to TELL US! We are needed. After all, 1 in 4 are struggling.