Congressional Resolution Honors Mental Health America on 100th Anniversary
Kennedy, Bono Mack Measure Recognizes
Century of Contributions
Contact: Steve Vetzner, (703) 797-2588 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ALEXANDRIA, VA. (February 12, 2009)- A resolution introduced in the House of Representatives on Wednesday honors Mental Health America on its 100th Anniversary and recognizes its century of contributions to the lives of millions of Americans.
The resolution, which was introduced by U.S. Representatives Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) and Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), states that Mental Health America has "achieved lasting change and progress on behalf of individuals with mental health conditions and their families."
"We deeply appreciate the work of U.S. Representatives Patrick Kennedy and Mary Bono Mack in introducing this resolution," said David L. Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. "They have been champions on these issues and we have been proud to work with them.
"As Mental Health America celebrates a century of mental health advocacy, we are looking to the future and committed to expanding prevention programs, improving care and increasing access so Americans with mental health conditions can live healthy and productive lives."
"I am pleased to co-sponsor this resolution with Representative Mary Bono Mack in honor of Mental Health America's 100th Anniversary," said Kennedy. "Mental Health America has long been a committed advocate for improving mental health treatments, research, and prevention for our nation's citizens. Indeed, such advocacy efforts were critical to last year's passage of mental health parity which eliminated the disparities between mental health and physical health benefits. I am pleased to recognize its century of work to help improve the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans."
"For a hundred years, Americans have benefited from the outstanding advocacy and efforts of Mental Health America," said Bono Mack. "Each year, millions of people in our country suffer from mental health disorders. It is through the hard work and dedication of organizations like Mental Health America and our continued, collaborative efforts that we can bring help and healing to these families and raise awareness for this very real issue."
Mental Health America will celebrate its 100th Anniversary on February 19. Founded in 1909 by Clifford W. Beers, a young businessman who experienced firsthand the treatment of individuals with a mental illness, Mental Health America (then called the National Committee for Mental Hygiene) was the first association of its kind and the beginning of what we now know as the organized mental health movement in America.
Over the course of a century, Mental Health America led the way on major advancements and improvements in research, prevention, treatment, and the surrounding mental health care. The resolution cites major accomplishments of Mental Health America and its affiliates, including:
- Convening the First International Congress on Mental Hygiene in Washington D.C. (1930)
- Advocating for passage of the "National Mental Health Act," which created the National Institute of Mental Health. (1946)
- Commissioning the casting of the Mental Health Bell from chains and shackles that restrained people with mental illnesses in decades past. (1953)
- Supporting passage of the "Community Mental Health Centers Act" which called for deinstitutionalization and increased community services. (1963)
- Advocating for inclusion of mandated mental illness services in Medicare. (1966)
- Successfully demanding that a "Have you ever been mentally Ill?" question be removed from federal government employment forms. (1974)
- Organizing the National Action Commission on the Mental Health of Rural Americans regarding the delivery of mental health services to citizens living in rural areas. (1987)
- In conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Institute of Mental Health, organizing the first comprehensive conference on The State of Mental Health and Mental Illness in Black America. (1994)
- Along with a coalition of mental health agencies and advocates, succeeded in getting the Mental Health Parity Act signed into law. (2008)
Celebrating 100 years of mental health advocacy, Mental Health America is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives. With our more than 300 affiliates nationwide, we represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation-everyday and in times of crisis. In 2009, we are marking a century of achievement with a year-long Centennial Observance: "Celebrating the Legacy. Forging the Future."