Text: H.Con.Res.134 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (06/02/2008)

[Congressional Bills 110th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Con. Res. 134 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  2d Session
H. CON. RES. 134



                              June 2, 2008

Received and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and 


                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the Congress that there should be established a 
Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to 
enhance public awareness of mental illness, especially within minority 

Whereas mental illness is one of the leading causes of disabilities in the 
        United States, affecting one out of every four families in America and 
        victimizing both those with the illness and those who care for and love 
        those afflicted;
Whereas according to the National Alliance for Mentally Ill (NAMI), the direct 
        and indirect costs to the


 workplace resulting from mental illness total over $34,000,000 annually;

Whereas the National Institute of Mental Health has reported that many people 
        suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time and 45 percent 
        of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for two or more 
        disorders, with severity strongly related to comorbidity (including 
        diabetes, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, and cancer);
Whereas according to the 1999 Surgeon General's Report on Mental Illness, more 
        than 54,000,000 Americans have a mental disorder in any given year, 
        although fewer than 8,000,000 seek treatment;
Whereas according to the same Surgeon General's Report on Mental Illness, adult 
        Caucasians who suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder are more 
        likely to receive treatment than adult African Americans with the same 
        disorders even though the disorders occur in both groups at about the 
        same rate, when taking into account socioeconomic factors;
Whereas according to a report from the Office of Minority and National Affairs 
        for the American Psychiatric Association, although mental illness 
        impacts all people, African Americans experience a much greater unmet 
        need for mental health services and receive a lesser quality of care, 
        thereby resulting in mental health disparities;
Whereas the three major brain diseases--schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and 
        depression--adversely affect the economy, contribute to the rise in 
        incarceration rates, and erode the quality of family life of those 
Whereas nearly two-thirds of all people with a diagnosable mental illness do not 
        seek mental health treatment due to stigma, lack of community-based 
        resources, inadequate diagnosis, or no diagnosis;
Whereas communities of color are in need of culturally competent mental health 
        resources and the training of all health care providers to serve multi-
        ethnic consumers;
Whereas advocacy for traditional mental health organizations must be encouraged 
        to incorporate and integrate minority mental health education and 
        outreach within their respective portfolios;
Whereas other research studies estimate that 50 to 70 percent of all youth in 
        the juvenile justice system have mental health problems that are usually 
        undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, untreated, or badly treated, thus leaving 
        those incarcerated in vulnerable conditions;
Whereas minority mental health consumers often fall into the category of the 
        ``working poor'', facing additional challenges because they are 
        underinsured or uninsured, which often leads to late diagnosis or no 
        diagnosis of mental illness;
Whereas the faith, customs, values, and traditions of a variety of ethnic groups 
        should be taken into consideration when attempting to treat and diagnose 
        mental illnesses;
Whereas a small percentage of African Americans receive mental health treatment, 
        and a significant percentage refuse treatment or view mental health 
        treatment as the ``treatment of last resort'', due to the stigma 
        associated with mental illness;
Whereas according to the 1999 Surgeon General's Report on Mental Illness, 
        African Americans are misdiagnosed at a higher rate within the mental 
        health delivery system, and greater effort must be made to accurately 
        assess the mental health of African Americans;
Whereas there is a need to improve public awareness of mental illness and to 
        strengthen local and national awareness of brain diseases in order to 
        assist with advocacy for persons of color with mental illness, so that 
        they may receive adequate and appropriate treatment that will result in 
        their becoming fully functioning members of society;
Whereas community mobilization of resources is needed to educate, advocate for, 
        and train mental health providers to help remove barriers to treatment 
        of mental disorders;
Whereas access to mental health treatment and services is of paramount 
Whereas there is a need to encourage primary care physicians to offer screening, 
        partner with mental health providers, and seek the appropriate referral 
        to specialists and to encourage timely and accurate diagnosis;
Whereas the late Bebe Moore Campbell (mother, grandmother, wife, friend, 
        advocate, celebrated writer and journalist, noted author, radio 
        commentator, community activist, co-founder of National Alliance for the 
        Mentally Ill Urban Los Angeles, University of Pittsburgh Trustee and 
        educator, and recipient of numerous awards and honors) was recognized 
        for her tireless advocacy and fight to bring awareness and attention to 
        mental illness among minorities with the release of her New York Times 
        best selling novel, ``72 Hour Hold'', and her children's book 
        ``Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry'', which both bring awareness to the 
        plight of those with brain disorders;
Whereas Bebe Moore Campbell through her dedication and commitment sought to move 
        communities to support mental wellness through effective treatment 
        options, open access to mental health treatment and services, and 
        improve community outreach and support for the many loved ones who are 
        unable to speak for themselves; and
Whereas July would be an appropriate month to recognize as Bebe Moore Campbell 
        National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), 
That it is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) improved access to mental health treatment and services 
        and public awareness of mental illness are of paramount 
            (2) there is an important need for improved access to care, 
        treatment, and services for those diagnosed with severe and 
        persistent mental health disorders and improved public 
        awareness of mental illness; and
            (3) an appropriate month should be recognized as Bebe Moore 
        Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to 
        enhance public awareness of mental illness and mental illness 
        among minorities.

            Passed the House of Representatives May 21, 2008.


                                            LORRAINE C. MILLER,


                               By Robert F. Reeves,

                                                          Deputy Clerk.

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