Mental Health Month raises awareness of trauma and the impact it can have on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children, families, and communities. Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans' lives, and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. We also give thanks to the dedicated mental health providers whose service and support improve the lives of so many Americans.
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. Mental health challenges among our youth have also been particularly acute due to disruptions in routines, increased social isolation, and learning loss.
President Biden, in this year’s State of the Union Address, outlined his vision for bolder investments to address our national mental health crisis. The President’s 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. The Surgeon General also 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.
Over the past 20 years, the Federal Government, the public health community, and the general public have made efforts to increase the importance of understanding both prevention and treatment of mental health problems. These efforts have significantly improved the outlook for those affected by mental illnesses.
Mental Health Month gives all of us a valuable opportunity to celebrate the tremendous strides this Nation has made in promoting mental health and increasing the public's knowledge that effective services and support are available.
To access resources related to mental health, please visit the National Center for Safe and Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE).