DearColleague.us

Letter

From: The Honorable Scott H. Peters
Sent By: kc.jaski@mail.house.gov
Date: 4/29/2014

Help stop mental health stigma! Co-sponsor the bipartisan Mental Health No Stigma Week resolution

Supported by: Alliance for Children and Families, American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP), American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Dance Therapy Association, American Group Psychotherapy Association, American Mental Health Councilors Association, American Psychiatric Association, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Association for Behavior Health and Wellness/Stamp Out Stigma, Brandon Marshall Foundation, Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance, International Bipolar Foundation, NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, National Council for Behavioral Health, National Association of County Behavioral Health and Development Disability Directors, National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), National Association of Mental Health Program Directors, National Association of School Psychologists, the National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health, National Association of Mental Health Planning and Advisory Councils, Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing, PUSH America, Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America, School Social Work Association of America, State Associations of Addiction Services, World Federation for Mental Health

Co-Sponsors: Scott Peters, Gary Miller, Barbara Lee, Alcee Hastings, Janice Schakowsky, Tim Ryan, Jim McGovern, Juan Vargas, Dan Benishek, Michael Honda, Judy Chu, G.K. Butterfield, Keith Ellison, Elizabeth Esty, Ann Kirkpatrick, Grace Napolitano, Sam Farr, Bobby Rush, John Lewis, Madeleine Bordallo, Carol Shea-Porter, Ed Perlmutter, Charles Range, Susan Davis
Dear Colleague,
I invite you to cosponsor this resolution recognizing May 5, 2014 through May 11, 2014, the first full week of May, as National Mental Health No Stigma Week. One in four Americans suffer from mental illness and stigmatization inhibits as many as two-thirds of these individuals from seeking treatment. By acknowledging the serious consequences of mental health stigma, we can foster public understanding, increase prevention of mental illness, and aid our fellow Americans.
Stigmatization can come from strangers, close friends, and family alike:
Only 26% of Americans agree that people are generally caring and sympathetic toward individuals with mental illness.
Mental illness affects millions of American children: 13% of young children aged 8-15 and 20% of teenagers. Yet, only one-half (54%) of young adults who know someone with a mental illness believe that treatment can help people with mental illnesses lead normal lives.
Discrimination and hostility directed towards those struggling with, and seeking treatment for, mental illness exacerbate the issues and can lead to tragic, yet preventable outcomes:
More than 300,000 Americans attempt suicide every year.
Those who attempt suicide list fear of stigmatization as one of the leading factors preventing them from seeking help.
Public awareness campaigns that dispel prejudice surrounding mental disorders and their treatment can improve the quality of life for millions of Americans. California has already taken the lead on this issue by creating “California Mental Health No Stigma Week.” Creating a “National Mental Health No Stigma Week” has the power to start nationwide conversation, raise awareness, and help Americans struggling with mental health challenges.
For more information or to cosponsor this resolution, please contact KC Jaski in my office at kc.jaski@mail.house.gov.
The Deadline to sign on is Friday, May 2nd.

Sincerely,

SCOTT PETERS GARY MILLER
Member of Congress Member of Congress