Mental Health First Aid Month


WHEREAS, sound mental and behavioral health services are an essential part of an individual’s well-being and the overall wellness of the community; and

WHEREAS, preventing and overcoming mental and substance use disorders is essential to achieving healthy lifestyles and building a healthy community; and

WHEREAS, it is known that one in five people will experience a mental health crisis this year, and given the serious nature of this public health problem, we must continue to reach out to everyone in our communities who needs help; and

WHEREAS, we must encourage all of our citizens to learn more about mental health, implement early intervention measures, recognize the signs of a problem, intervene in an effort to prevent suicide and other traumatic events, and guide those in need to appropriate treatment and other support services; and

WHEREAS, Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based program that teaches community members about mental health and substance use issues, and develops skills on to how to assist someone in crisis, resulting in a reduction in suicide and other traumatic events, and also aids in decreasing stigma about mental illness; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services has continued to increase Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid trainings in our communities to ensure that as many individuals as possible are trained; and

WHEREAS, Virginia has already trained approximately 10,000 residents to identify the signs of mental health issues and direct our friends, family, and community members into appropriate care; and

WHEREAS, proclaiming Mental Health First Aid Month will further urge Virginia citizens to learn more about Mental Health First Aid, participate in activities, and enroll in a Mental Health First Aid Course in our communities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize May 2015 as MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.