Luján, Portman Introduce Resolution to Recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio)introduced a bipartisan resolution to recognize May as National Mental Health Awareness Month. Earlier this month, Congressional Mental Health Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32) and Rep. John Katko (R-NY-24) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“The public health crisis has caused an unprecedented rise in mental health challenges,” said Senator Luján. “After our way of life and economy were disrupted last year, the stress and immense uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 triggered and exacerbated mental health issues in countless Americans. Congress must act urgently to ensure that all Americans struggling with their mental health have access to the programs and resources to get better. As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, I’m honored to stand with Senator Portman, Congresswoman Napolitano, and Congressman Katko to bring attention to this issue and highlight the importance of mental health.”
“I am proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution designating May 2021 as Mental Health Awareness Month. It is more important than ever that we recognize mental health as a national priority – as we have seen throughout the past year, social isolation and increased anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the mental health of too many Americans,”said Portman. “Throughout my time in Congress, I have fought for increased behavioral health funding to provide communities with the necessary tools to provide a comprehensive range of mental health and substance use disorder services to vulnerable individuals. I applaud all of those who work every day to bring awareness to the importance of mental health and provide support and services to Americans in need.”
Since 1949, May has been observed as National Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when advocates and activists across the country draw attention to the mental health issues that affect as many as one in four Americans. Today, more people die from suicide in the United States than from traffic accidents or homicides, and we lose 17 veterans to suicide daily.
Unfortunately, because of the stigma associated with mental illness, many people are too ashamed or embarrassed to seek the help they need for themselves or their loved ones. National Mental Health Awareness Month is a time when we work together to break through that stigma. We express compassion for those who struggle with mental health issues, and we draw attention to the proven methods that can help change their lives for the better.