Alexandria, VA – Schroeder Stribling, president and CEO of Mental Health America, issued the following statement tonight after the State of the Union Address and the release of an accompanying White House fact sheet detailing President Biden’s strategy to address our national mental health crisis:
“Mental Health America applauds President Biden for highlighting mental health in tonight’s State of the Union and calling for all Americans to have access to the mental health services they need. We had a pre-existing mental health crisis in America before COVID-19 which the pandemic has dramatically amplified. After two years of grief, loss, and isolation, Americans are in desperate need of more mental health supports and services.
“The strategy the White House has laid out in its fact sheet is a necessary beginning – and it will save lives. Their approach will meet people where they are and will reduce disparities and promote equity across the mental health landscape. Advancing equity in mental health requires that everyone – regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender identity or sexual orientation, geography, or any other demographic – has equal access to affordable, effective, and culturally responsive mental health care.
“Through peer support, workforce expansion, and social and human services provider training, we are excited to see the Biden administration empowering community members to take an active role in providing mental health support. The overwhelming need for mental health support in this country cannot be met by the current workforce alone.
“More than 50% of people will be diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime, and many will not receive any services until many years after first experiencing symptoms. To that end, we appreciate the administration’s focus on prevention and early intervention, including a commitment to early childhood and school services and a more proactive approach to social media.
“As more of the plan unfolds, we hope to see a fierce dedication to mental health reforms in our public and private insurance programs. We look forward to working with the administration on this new mental health agenda.”
About Mental Health America
Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all. MHA’s work is driven by its commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; integrated care, services, and supports for those who need them; with recovery as the goal. Learn more at MHAnational.org.