The month of May has been deemed Mental Health Awareness Month. In the Presidential Proclamation, signed on April 28, 2016, President Obama stated “nearly 44 million American adults, and millions of children, experience mental health conditions each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress.” Countless efforts are underway to increase public and private support for funding of mental health services.
Recently, Louisiana hosted Behavioral Health Day on the steps of the State Capitol where I was blessed to be one of the speakers. Several advocacy groups, legislature, and people sharing their journey with mental health conditions passionately spoke about improving health care access and raising the awareness of mental health.
It is my hope that the dialogue continues and directly impacts the negative stigma associated with the mental health community. Individuals will no longer shun treatment for fear of discrimination. Lives will be saved because positive efforts were made highlighting mental health.