Presidential Proclamation—May 2013 is National Mental Health Awareness Month
President Obama calls upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. For many of the tens of millions of Americans who are living with a mental health issue, getting help starts with a conversation; talking about it with someone they trust and consulting with a health care provider.
Prejudice and discrimination often create a barrier to people seeking help. The President highlights that we as a nation need to make sure people know that “asking for help is not a sign of weakness—it is a sign of strength.” Additionally, with the Affordable Care Act, insurers may not deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions and will expand behavioral health issue benefits for 62 million Americans. The Administration has made unprecedented commitments to improve mental health care in America, and resources are available to those who need them.
You can find nearby treatment through SAMHSA’s Treatment Referral line at 1-800-662-4357(HELP). This toll-free service provides round-the-clock information confidentially on where to go for help on prevention, treatment, and recovery issues related to mental illness or substance use disorders (assistance available in English and Spanish). Similarly, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) provides free, confidential, immediate round-the-clock assistance to people in crisis. Both lines are open to all Americans—including service members, veterans, and their families—365 days a year.