On Monday the White House launched a day-long symposium on all matters related to mental health. President Obama took to the podium to confirm his administration's support of the growing national conversation on mental health. "You see commercials on TV about a whole array of physical health issues; some of them very personal," quipped President Obama. "And yet, we whisper about mental health issues and avoid asking too many questions. The brain’s a body part, too. We just know less about it."
According to the White House, the conference is only one part of the Obama administration's commitment to raising awareness of and improving treatment for mental health issues. Here are a few more items of note from the day:
- The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) headed by former Republican Senator Gordon Smith, who lost his son to suicide 10 years ago revealed a new initiative to raise awareness of mental health through a TV ad and social media campaign.
- The White House also launched MentalHealth.gov, a resource center containing the latest facts, figures, and stories of hope.
- In his address, the President cited veteran mental health care as a continued priority, and reported that 22 American veterans commit suicide every day.
- The Affordable Care Act promises to bring mental health care coverage to an additional 60 million Americans.
- In 2014 insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage for a pre-existing mental health condition.
Freedom Institute has no political affiliation, but we do like awareness campaigns, innovative websites, commitment to our veterans, and increased health coverage for mental health services.
"What helps more than anything," said the President, "what gives so many of our friends and loved ones strength, is the knowledge that you’re not alone. You’re not alone. You’re surrounded by people who care about you and who will support you on the journey to get well."