This is a letter I received in my inbox from Bring Change 2 Mind Chairperson and Actress Glenn Close. I find this very exciting, as her organization and many others (and people like us!) are encouraging the United States as a whole to discuss mental health. Read on:
On Monday, June 3rd, President Obama and Vice President Biden will host a White House Mental Health Conference as part of the Administration’s effort to launch a national conversation to increase understanding and awareness about mental health. President Obama will deliver opening remarks and Vice President Biden will deliver closing remarks to conference participants.
While millions of Americans struggle with mental health problems, those who need help are too often afraid to seek it because of the shame and secrecy associated with mental illness. The conference will bring together people from across the country, including representatives from state and local governments, mental health advocates, educators, health care providers, faith leaders, and individuals who have struggled with mental health problems, to discuss how we can all work together to reduce stigma and help the millions of Americans struggling with mental health problems recognize the importance of reaching out for assistance.
Bring Change 2 Mind is answering the President’s call to launch a national conversation to increase the understanding and awareness about mental health by participating during the White House Mental Health Conference. We invite you to participate in the conversation by watching it live at whitehouse.gov/live from approximately 9:30am to 2:45pm EST on June 3.
In addition the Department of Health and Human Services will officially launch a new website, MentalHealth.gov on June 3 to continue the conversation begun at the National Conference on Mental Health. The purpose of the website is to provide mental health information and resources for individuals living with mental health problems, friends and family members, educators, and other community members. Specifically, the website will feature information regarding the basic signs of mental health problems, how to talk about mental health and ways to find help.
Another important purpose of MentalHealth.gov is to keep the conversation about mental health going after June 3 by sharing information about what organizations and individuals across the country are doing to raise awareness about mental health in their communities. BC2M will be an active partner in the continuing conversation about mental health and in particular the stigma and discrimination of mental illness.
We are pleased to be participating in this very important conference and look forward to the dialogue that will begin in earnest as a result of so many dedicated people coming together to advance the conversation.