Urge the Senate to Pass the Mental Health First Aid Act of 2016
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According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 out of every 5 Americans will experience some form of mental illness in a given year. If left untreated, these mental illnesses could have deadly consequences. On average, there are 117 deaths by suicide per day in America according to the Centers for Disease Control. Mass shootings are also often caused by untreated severe mental illnesses. Americans, both Republican and Democrat can agree, that this is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed.
Currently, there is a bill sitting in the Senate that is geared toward helping the mental illness crisis in America: H.R. 1877/S. 711. This bill would help create courses across the country that would help people who witness mental illnesses first hand, such as teachers, first responders, and medical staff, to recognize warning signs of mental illness. These courses will also teach them how to deescalate mental health crises and refer those experiencing mental illnesses to local resources.
A young family member of mine once tried to take her own life. I will never be able to forget the pain I felt the night I heard the news. I'll never forget the feeling of her small hand in mine as we were transported in the back of an ambulance. I will never be able to forget the fear I felt at the thought I may have to live without her, and that she would be gone at such a young age. If a teacher could have recognized the warning signs of the underlying mental illness she was struggling with, she may never have attempted suicide. If people in these positions had proper training in mental illness crisis deescalation, minor and mass tragedies could be prevented and lives could be saved.
This bill passed the House of Representatives in late September and is currently sitting in the Senate. Please sign this petition and contact your local Senators to urge them to support this bill!
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