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Obama: Bring Mental Illness Out of the Shadows


President Obama on Monday said it is time to bring mental illness “out of the shadows.” At the National Conference on Mental Health, sponsored by the White House, Obama spoke about the stigma associated with mental illness.

The White House has focused on mental illness after a string of mass shootings last year generated interest in improving the country’s mental health services, The Washington Post reports.

In a speech delivered at the conference, Obama said most suicides each year involve someone with a mental health or substance abuse disorder. “And in some cases, when a condition goes untreated, it can lead to tragedy on a larger scale,” he added. “Too many Americans who struggle with mental health illnesses are still suffering in silence, rather than seeking help,” Obama said. “And we need to see [to] it that men and women who would never hesitate to go see a doctor if they had a broken arm or came down with the flu, that they have that same attitude when it comes to their mental health.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurers are required to cover mental health services as an essential health benefit. This means all insurance plans must cover these services, and pay for them at the same rate that they pay for medical and surgical services.

Several new projects were unveiled in conjunction with the conference, the article notes. These include youth-oriented public services announcements on MTV, a media campaign aimed at veterans, and information about mental health services posted on video gamer online message boards.

3 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of raney
    raney / October 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm


  2. Roger Morgan / June 4, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Perhaps its time that the President address preventing mental illness caused by adolescent marijuana use. While he and the Attorney General sit on the sidelines allowing the proliferation of marijuana, many more young people will incur permanent brain damage and travel down a path to mental illness.

    Its time the Commander-In-Chief enforce federal law.

  3. Doug / June 12, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Maybe if they weren’t so busy listening to our phone calls they could run the country, huh? Their War on Drugs has been good for criminals, politicians, cops, terrorists and prison guards. Some of those who benefit most fit into more than one of those categories. Everyone else is collateral damage including taxpayers and children. It is a parent’s job to raise their kids, not Mr. Obama’s. Families face way more challenges than any single substance, and the “proliferation of marijuana” is the will of we the people who wisely voted to treated it like alcohol, which is also not for sale to minors. Is any system perfect? Nope. Did Prohibition work? Not unless you are in one of those five select groups above.

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