(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), issued the following statement on Mental Health Awareness Month, which is recognized throughout the month of May:
“Mental Health Awareness Month is an important opportunity for all of us to recommit ourselves to raising awareness, eliminating the stigma and working to expand access to lifesaving resources. As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we see how much COVID has exacerbated our country’s mental health crisis, particularly among our youth and specifically girls,” said Shaheen. “Too many struggle in silence, and too many don’t know about or know how to access assistance that is there to help. As a society, we must treat these invisible wounds with the same urgency as the wounds we can see. Tackling this ever-evolving mental health crisis requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. We must invest more in federal resources to make treatment available to those who need it and ensure we have the long-term health care infrastructure necessary to support those recovering. I am proud to have partners on both sides of the aisle in the Senate who have helped me spotlight this issue, and I will continue those bipartisan efforts to keep mental health care a front and center priority.”
Senator Shaheen is a leader in the Senate working to bring attention to the mental health crisis. A senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen worked to secure $111 million for the Department of Education to provide demonstration grants to support school-based mental health personnel and services. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, of which Shaheen was a key supporter, provided New Hampshire with more than $1.3 million dollars for mental health programs, including to support teens in rural communities and reduce youth suicide. She has also provided New Hampshire-specific awards to address mental health through the congressionally directed spending process in the most recent government funding law. Shaheen also fought to provide funding for mental health care during the pandemic, including $4.25 billion in funding through emergency COVID relief legislation and nearly $4 billion through the American Rescue Plan. She hosted virtual discussions on the youth and teen mental health epidemic during the pandemic, which spurred her to introduce the Mental Health Excellence in Schools Act, as well as the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act, to increase the availability of mental health services in America’s public schools. Shaheen also helped to establish a new three-digit (988) mental health emergency and suicide prevention lifeline.