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H.Res. 1093: Expressing support for the designation of May 2022 as “Mental Health Awareness Month”.


The text of the resolution below is as of May 6, 2022 (Introduced).


IV

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 1093

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 6, 2022

(for herself, Mr. Katko, Mr. Bacon, Ms. Barragán, Mr. Beyer, Ms. Bonamici, Ms. Brown of Ohio, Mr. Carson, Ms. Chu, Mr. Cleaver, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Correa, Ms. Craig, Mr. Danny K. Davis of Illinois, Ms. DeGette, Mr. Espaillat, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Mr. Grijalva, Ms. Johnson of Texas, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Kilmer, Mr. Lowenthal, Mr. Lynch, Ms. Matsui, Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, Mr. Moulton, Mr. O'Halleran, Mr. Panetta, Mrs. Lee of Nevada, Mr. Raskin, Mr. Tonko, Mr. Torres of New York, Mr. Trone, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Ms. Williams of Georgia, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Mr. DeSaulnier, and Mrs. Axne) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

RESOLUTION

Expressing support for the designation of May 2022 as Mental Health Awareness Month.

Whereas mental well-being during the coronavirus (COVID–19) public health emergency has taken a toll on constituents and understandably has been stressful for many Americans;

Whereas the United States has witnessed firsthand for nearly 2 years how fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming, and cause strong emotions in both adults and children;

Whereas, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, prior to the pandemic nearly 1 in 5 adults lived with a mental illness;

Whereas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prior to the pandemic up to 1 in 5 children ages 3 to 17 reported a mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral disorder;

Whereas the effects of COVID–19 have been well-documented, and the need for mental health and suicide prevention services only continues to grow;

Whereas the Stress in America 2021: Stress and Decision-Making during the Pandemic poll found that—

(1)

1 in 3 adults (32 percent) are so stressed about the coronavirus pandemic that they struggle to make basic decisions, such as what to wear or what to eat;

(2)

millennials were (48 percent) more likely to struggle than individuals in Generation Z (37 percent), Generation X (32 percent), baby boomers (14 percent), and older adults (3 percent);

(3)

59 percent of adults experienced behavior changes as a result of stress in the past month; and

(4)

nearly two-thirds of adults (63 percent) agreed that uncertainty about what the next few months will be like causes them stress;

Whereas the April 2, 2021, CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that during the pandemic the percentage of adults with symptoms of an anxiety or a depressive disorder during the past 7 days rose from 36.4 percent in August 2020 to 41.5 percent in February 2021;

Whereas the United States Census Household Pulse Survey in December 2021, found that 30.7 percent of adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, which is up from 11 percent in 2019, and among those adults, 27.8 percent reported an unmet need for counseling or therapy;

Whereas negative mental health outcomes have also worsened for children;

Whereas the impact of the pandemic on individuals, felt through the disruption of their lives, increased anxiety about the virus, and the death of loved ones, has had a traumatic effect;

Whereas, according to the CDC, mental health disorders are chronic conditions, and without proper diagnosis and treatment children can face problems at home and in school, and mental health disorders can interfere with their future development;

Whereas more mental health school staff and resources should be utilized to focus on prevention and early intervention in the educational system, as that is where children are most likely to receive mental health services;

Whereas childhood depression is more likely to persist into adulthood if left untreated;

Whereas disparities remain in access to mental health treatment for youth of color, with Asian, Native American, and Black youth less likely to receive mental health care than their White counterparts;

Whereas it is important that the United States provide the necessary funding and resources to reach children and youth early on in life;

Whereas, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 50 percent of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75 percent by age 24, and 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 live with a mental health condition;

Whereas an August 2021, study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics found that prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms during COVID–19 has doubled from prepandemic rates;

Whereas in December 2021 the United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a new Surgeon General Advisory to highlight the urgent need for families, educators and schools, community organizations, media and technology companies, and governments to address the Nation’s worsening youth mental health crisis;

Whereas the advisory further noted that youth mental health challenges have been on the rise even prior to COVID–19, and from 2007 to 2018, the suicide rate among youth aged 10 to 24 increased by 57 percent;

Whereas the COVID Collaborative estimates that more than 167,000 children have lost a parent or in-home caregiver to COVID–19, which continues to raise concerns about the emotional well-being of children;

Whereas the COVID–19 pandemic has highlighted racial and ethnic disparities in access to mental health care;

Whereas it is critical to continue to bolster public health measures to promote and strengthen emotional well-being and resiliency of populations affected by COVID–19 related stress, grief, and loss;

Whereas a July 2021 survey by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing found that from July 2020 to July 2021—

(1)

49 percent of LGBTQ+ adults have experienced more stress and mental health challenges, but just 41 percent say they have received treatment or care of any kind for their mental health;

(2)

46 percent of Black adults say they are experiencing more stress and mental health challenges, but just 21 percent say they have received treatment or care of any kind for their mental health;

(3)

45 percent of Native American adults have experienced more stress and mental health challenges, but only 24 percent have received treatment for mental health;

(4)

42 percent of Hispanic adults report experiencing more stress and mental health challenges, but just 26 percent say they have received mental health treatment;

(5)

40 percent of Asian adults say they are experiencing more stress and mental health challenges, but just 11 percent say they have received treatment or care of any kind; and

(6)

almost half (47 percent) of all adults surveyed stated that the cost of help or treatment is an obstacle in seeking treatment for their mental health;

Whereas the COVID–19 pandemic has exacerbated the risk factors associated with suicide and prevention, and such risk factors must continue to be addressed;

Whereas a Mental Health America survey found that the number of adults reporting suicidal ideation in 2021 increased by 664,000 when compared with the 2020 dataset;

Whereas depression, bipolar disorder, and substance use are strongly linked to suicidal thinking and behavior;

Whereas the 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report stated that—

(1)

13.7 percent of adults who die from suicide are veterans; and

(2)

veterans have a 52.3 percent greater rate of suicide than the nonveteran United States population;

Whereas published data from the CDC found that—

(1)

individuals ages 10 to 24 years old account for 14 percent of all suicides; and

(2)

suicide is the ninth leading cause of death for adults ages 35 to 64 and accounts for 47.2 percent of all suicides;

Whereas the August 27, 2021, CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that adults with disabilities were 3 times more likely to report suicidal ideation (30.6 percent) in the past month compared to persons without disabilities (8.3 percent);

Whereas, since the start of the COVID–19 pandemic, concerns have arisen around potential increases in suicide risk, particularly among marginalized populations;

Whereas, prior to the pandemic, LGBTQ+ youth have been found to be at significantly greater risk for seriously considering and attempting suicide, and for many LGBTQ+ youth, their home environment is not a safe place;

Whereas, according to research from The Trevor Project, 16 percent of LGBTQ+ youth, including 29 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth, reported that they have felt unsafe in their home since the start of COVID–19 compared to 10 percent of cisgender and straight youth; and

Whereas it would be appropriate to observe May 2022 as Mental Health Awareness Month: Now, therefore, be it

That the House of Representatives—

(1)

supports the designation of Mental Health Awareness Month to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and place emphasis on scientific findings regarding mental health recovery;

(2)

declares mental health a national priority;

(3)

supports the expansion of funding for mental health services;

(4)

recognizes that mental well-being is equally as important as physical well-being for citizens, communities, schools, businesses, and the economy in the United States;

(5)

applauds the coalescing of national, State, local, medical, and faith-based organizations in working to promote public awareness of mental health and providing critical information and support during this pandemic to individuals and families affected by mental illness; and

(6)

encourages all to draw on Mental Health Awareness Month as an opportunity to promote mental well-being and awareness, ensure access to appropriate coverage and services, and support overall quality of life for those living with mental illness.