President Obama Hosts Mental Health Conference
As part of a White House conference on mental health, President Barack Obama has called for an increased national discussion on mental illness, saying the time had come to bring the issue “out of the shadows.”
“Struggling with a mental illness or caring for someone who does can be isolating,” Obama said. “It begins to feel as if, not only are you alone, but that you shouldn’t burden others with the challenge.”
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The conference is part of Obama’s response to last year’s shooting massacre at a Connecticut elementary school. While the president emphasized that most people with mental health problems are not violent, he said untreated mental illness can lead to larger tragedies.
The agenda includes discussion of insurance coverage for mental health care and substance abuse, recognizing the signs of mental illness in young people and improved access to services for veterans. The overall goal is reducing the stigma of mental health problems and encouraging those who are struggling to get help.