Assemblyman TIM EUSTACE
District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblywoman PAMELA R. LAMPITT
District 6 (Burlington and Camden)
Assemblywoman NANCY J. PINKIN
District 18 (Middlesex)
Assemblyman RAJ MUKHERJI
District 33 (Hudson)
Assemblywoman PATRICIA EGAN JONES
District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)
Assemblywoman JOANN DOWNEY
District 11 (Monmouth)
Assemblyman KEVIN J. ROONEY
District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)
Assemblywoman Jimenez and Assemblyman Gusciora
Designates month of May of each year as "Mental Health Awareness Month."
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
A Joint Resolution designating the month of May as "Mental Health Awareness Month" in New Jersey
Whereas, Approximately one in five adults in the nation, or 43.8 million persons, experience a diagnosable mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or post-traumatic stress disorder in a given year; and
Whereas, For approximately one in 25 adults in the nation, a serious mental illness dramatically affects the person's ability to perform major life activities; and
Whereas, Research for New Jersey indicates that approximately 242,000 adults, or 3.6 percent of adults, in 2013 to 2014 had a serious mental illness in the prior year; and
Whereas, Persons with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions and, on average, die 25 years earlier than others, due largely to treatable medical conditions; and
Whereas, An estimated 26 percent of homeless adults in the nation who stay in shelters live with serious mental illness, and a little more than 50 percent of adults who experience a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring mental illness; and
Whereas, Approximately one in five youths 13 to 18 years of age experience a severe mental disorder at some point in their life and, for children eight to 15 years of age, the estimate is that 13% will experience a severe mental disorder; and
Whereas, Mood disorders, including major depression, persistent depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the nation for persons 18 to 44 years of age; and
Whereas, Despite the widespread existence of mental illness there is nonetheless a stigma attached to the illness; and
Whereas, Treatment can be effective and recovery possible for mental illness, yet millions of Americans still do not receive the mental health care they need, with only 41 percent of adults in the nation with a mental health condition and just over half of children eight to 15 years of age receiving needed mental health services; and
Whereas, The month of May has been Mental Health Awareness Month in the nation since 1949, and raising this awareness in New Jersey will help to remove the stigma, fear, and misunderstanding about mental illness and thereby encourage treatment by ensuring that those persons in New Jersey who confront mental health issues know that they are not alone, that seeking mental health treatment is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength, and that by seeking treatment they can recover and live long, healthier lives; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The month of May of each year is designated as "Mental Health Awareness Month" in New Jersey to raise public awareness of mental illness to remove the stigma, fear, and misunderstanding about mental illness and thereby encourage treatment.
2. The Governor is requested to annually issue a proclamation calling upon public officials and the citizens of this State to observe "Mental Health Awareness Month" with appropriate activities and programs.
3. This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.
This joint resolution designates the month of May of each year as "Mental Health Awareness Month" to raise public awareness of mental illness to remove the stigma, fear, and misunderstanding about mental illness and thereby encourage treatment. The joint resolution also respectfully requests the Governor to issue an annual proclamation calling upon public officials and the citizens of this State to observe the month with appropriate activities and programs.