Statement from Secretary Becerra and Deputy Secretary Palm on World Mental Health Awareness Day 2023
Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra issued the following statement on World Mental Health Awareness Day 2023:
“In America, and around the world, we've come to a powerful realization: Mental Health is Health. Full stop.
Here at home and around the world, our goal should be that every individual, regardless of their walk of life, has access to mental health support. When we speak of providing healthcare, it should encompass the care of the mind just as much as the body.
Under the leadership of President Biden, we are addressing the mental health challenges faced by Americans as never before as part of his Unity Agenda for the nation. The reach of our 1400 Community Health Centers has broadened, offering care and support to millions, without regard for their financial means. We are working with states to expand services in schools, to meet our children where they are. We are reinforcing our Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, ensuring round-the-clock services for those with serious mental health challenges. And through 988, the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, Americans in crisis need only dial, chat or text 988 to be connected to trained counselors who can provide free and confidential emotional support and counseling.
The mental wellness of every person is not just a lofty ideal, but a basic human right. As nations bound by shared dreams and challenges, this World Mental Health Awareness Day, we have a powerful opportunity to assure every individual that their well-being is our priority.”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm issued the following statement on World Mental Health Awareness Day 2023:
“Every day I am reminded of the pressing realities we face and the collective responsibility we hold to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans. And today, as we mark World Mental Health Awareness Day, we acknowledge how foundational mental health is to that critical mission.
Mental health challenges impact all Americans. Recent data show that 23% of adults 18 or older had any mental illness in the prior year. And that among high school students surveyed, 29% experienced poor mental health in the prior 30 days.
Beyond these statistics lies the real story: the countless lives affected, the families grappling with heartbreak, and the communities navigating profound challenges. Clearly, addressing mental health isn't merely a healthcare concern; it's a public health imperative that resonates deeply with the core values of our nation.
I'm proud to be part of President Biden’s Administration which, as part of his Unity Agenda for the nation, has taken substantial steps to address the mental health of our communities. Our commitment to mental health is not just about words, but tangible actions. By extending vital tools and resources we’re working to provide the support and care that those battling mental health disorders so rightfully deserve. This approach is focused on meeting people where they are, and helping to ensure that there is no wrong door to behavioral health care.
As we reflect on this day, let us renew our pledge: to understand, to empathize, and most importantly, to act. Every person deserves a bright future, and it's up to us to help make sure they have the mental well-being to embrace it.”