Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) introduced bipartisan legislation, as part of his efforts to promote wellness, to designate the first full week of May each year as “National Mental Health No Stigma Week.” As of introduction, 54 Members of Congress have signed on as supporting co-sponsors of the bill, and 34 medical, academic, and professional associations have stated their support.
“Our mental health is often something we take for granted, but millions of our neighbors, friends, family members, and colleagues are working through mental illness issues every day,” Rep. Peters said. “It’s time to work together to end the stigma attached to mental illness and focus in on increasing awareness and prevention. A National Mental Health No Stigma Week would give this effort the recognition it deserves and would save lives.”
Mental illness affects millions of Americans each year, including 20% of teenagers, but stigmas around mental health often prevent treatment – only half of young adults believe that treatment can help return those with a mental illness back to a healthy life. Given that more than 300,000 Americans attempt suicide each year, with fear of stigmatization listed as among the top factors for preventing the mentally ill from seeking help, there is clearly much work to be done toward acknowledging this problem.
Read Full Press Release by Rep. Scott Peters
Support Letter signed by SARDAA and other organizations