☷A Proclamation on National Mental Health Awareness Month 2022
White House ( By Press Release office)
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Each May we raise awareness about the importance of mental health and its impact on the well - being of all Americans , including children , adults , families , and communities across our Nation . We also give thanks to the dedicated mental health providers whose service and support improve the lives of so many Americans . We stand in solidarity with those who are experiencing mental health conditions , renewing our commitment to providing them with the support they need and deserve . Even before the pandemic , millions of Americans were experiencing stress , trauma , anxiety , and heightened levels of depression . The COVID - 19 pandemic exacerbated those conditions , creating an unprecedented mental health crisis across our country . Communities of color , frontline workers , health care workers , and individuals with eating disorders have been disproportionately impacted , and the rate of depression across the country has more than tripled compared to rates in 2019 . Mental health challenges among our youth have also been particularly acute due to disruptions in routines , increased social isolation , and learning loss . Research has shown that social media plays a central role in increasing mental health challenges among young people — especially young women . Emergency department visits for attempted suicide among girls in 2021 increased by more than 50 percent compared to 2020 . American Indians , Alaska Natives , Black youth , and LGBTQI+ youth also face a disproportionate risk of suicide . Despite these disturbing trends , less than half of Americans struggling with mental illness receive the treatment they need — even fewer within Black and Brown communities . A variety of factors contribute to this problem . For example , too many communities lack sufficient numbers of mental health providers . Even where there are enough mental health providers , our fragmentated system makes it difficult for people to access them . Tragically , too , many Americans feel ashamed to reach out for help , or are stigmatized for seeking care . My Administration is committed to transforming mental health care for all Americans . The American Rescue Plan laid the groundwork for this effort , investing nearly $5 . 5 billion nationwide to strengthen mental health and substance use care . It also invested billions of dollars in our Nation’s schools , including mental health treatment for students and staff . But far more needs to be done . That is why in this year’s State of the Union Address , I outlined my vision for bolder investments to address our national mental health crisis . My strategy includes actions that will broaden the pipeline of behavioral health professionals in areas of greatest need , integrate mental health and substance use treatment into primary care , and expand access through more virtual care options . In addition , last year the Surgeon General released an Advisory on Protecting Youth Mental Health that underscored the growing harms of digital technologies — especially social media — on the mental health of our youth . It is time to strengthen privacy protections , ban targeted advertising to children , and demand that technology companies stop collecting the personal data of our children . We must also continue researching the impact of social media on the mental health of our children , expand services in school to promote their well - being , and set them up for success so they can thrive as adults . As my Administration works to expand suicide prevention and strengthen crisis care infrastructure within our communities , those who need immediate assistance can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 - 800 - 273 - TALK — which will transition to a simple three - digit number , 988 , in July . Each of us has an important role to play in supporting our fellow Americans who are living with mental health conditions . Learn the warning signs of emotional distress and suicide . Engage affected loved ones in supportive dialogue . Fight the prejudice and negative attitudes that discourages those in need from seeking mental health support . Above all , let us collectively ensure that all children and adults experiencing mental health challenges are treated with the compassion , respect , and understanding they deserve . NOW , THEREFORE , I , JOSEPH R . BIDEN JR . , President of the United States of America , by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States , do hereby proclaim May 2022 as National Mental Health Awareness Month . I call upon citizens , government agencies , private businesses , non - profit organizations , and other groups to join in activities and take action to strengthen the mental health of our communities and our Nation . IN WITNESS WHEREOF , I have hereunto set my hand this twenty - ninth day of April , in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty - two , and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty - sixth . JOSEPH R . BIDEN JR .
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