National Day of Action, September 4, 2014

It’s true yesterday was the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) National Day of Action to #ACT4MENTALHEALTH. But don’t worry; every day can be a day of action. In fact, we must make every day a day of action if we are going to make a difference in how, as a country, we come to grips with our mental illness crisis. As NAMI offers on their website:

NAMI’s National Day of Action is a national campaign in which we are asking supporters all across the country to stand up for the issues that are important to us. We are asking Congress to take action, pass legislation and support individuals living with mental illness and their families and we need your help.
Reach out to your member of Congress by calling, emailing or tweeting and tell them it is time to make mental health a priority in America. Check out all of the ways you can join the conversation.

NAMI National Convention, Washington, DC, September 3-6, 2014

According to news reports NAMI members convened this week in Washington, D.C. with 1500 members actually going to Capitol Hill to meet with congressional staff. The opening session of the convention included singer/actress Demi Lovato, former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy and Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds. Each has had their lives affected by mental illness.

USA TODAY quotes each…

“Mental health matters and must be taking seriously. Our stories really do matter. It is time to act for mental health and pass a comprehensive mental health bill this year.”  Demi Lovato

“Treat it like any other issue. Treat it early. Treat it aggressively. You’ll save lives. We’ll all be better off for it.”

Patrick Kennedy

“We cannot afford to wait for another crisis or tragedy. Too many lives have been lost, too many families changed forever.”
Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds

A conversation with Senator Creigh Deeds

Our regular readers may remember that we introduced you to Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds in our blog post of January 31, 2014, Mental Illness Crisis: Would You Know How To Help Your Loved One? 

This week Senator Deeds was interviewed by HUFFPOST Live reporter Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. Here is the complete report and interview.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

Some closing thoughts…

NAMI’s national convention takes place in September…which happens to be National Recovery Month.  National Recovery Month is celebrating its 25th Anniversary and they are sharing a powerful message:

In its 25th year, Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders. This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out,” encourages people to openly speak up about mental and substance use disorders and the reality of recovery, and promotes ways individuals can use to recognize behavioral health issues and reach out for help. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover.

#ACT4MentalHealth and Speak Up, Reach Out!

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