R 236
2019 -- S 0809
Enacted 04/25/2019

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Lawson, Ruggerio, Felag, Algiere, and Satchell
Date Introduced: April 25, 2019

     WHEREAS, Since 1949, Mental Health America, joined by organizations from across
the country, have led the observance of May as Mental Health Month, with the mission of raising
awareness and educating the public about mental illnesses. This year marks its 70th Anniversary;
     WHEREAS, Mental Health Awareness Month strives to reduce the stigma, the negative
attitudes and misconceptions, that surround mental illnesses; and
     WHEREAS, One of the main reasons why individuals do not seek professional help is
due to the stigma that surrounds mental health. Individuals are afraid to seek the help and
treatment they need because they may be judged, ridiculed and shunned by others or they may
even judge themselves and as a result, they often live in silence about their undiagnosed mental
health disorder; and
     WHEREAS, Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental
health condition. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their
background, age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or economic status; and
     WHEREAS, According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 18.1 percent of adults
living in the United States have experienced an anxiety disorder in the past year and nearly 1 in
25 adults in America are living with a serious mental illness; and
     WHEREAS, Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and according
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data & Statistics, 9.8 million adults,
age 18 or older thought about trying to kill themselves in 2015; and
     WHEREAS, Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental
health condition. Mental Health Awareness Month is a time to bring about change through
compassion, concern, open-mindedness, and understanding, and to celebrate the journeys of
resiliency and recovery of individuals living with mental illness; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby commemorates May of 2019 as "Mental Health Awareness Month" and urges schools,
businesses, government agencies, and health-care providers to commit to promoting and ensuring
innovative prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, and to spreading awareness through education
programs and understanding for mental health issues; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and herby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Rhode Island Division of Behavioral
Healthcare, and the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island (MHARI).