State of Maine Proclamation

 

May 10, 2022

WHEREAS, mental health is an essential component of overall health and wellbeing, and through working together to raise public awareness and reduce stigma around seeking mental health treatment, we can improve the lives of individuals and families experiencing mental health challenges; and

WHEREAS, one in five U.S. adults - about 187,000 Mainers - lives with a mental health condition; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic placed unprecedented stress on Maine people of all ages, leading to significant increases in self-reported anxiety and depression among youth and adults alike; and

WHEREAS, communities of color, frontline workers, and health care workers continue to experience disproportionate impacts of pandemic-related stress, with rates of depression among these groups tripling since 2019; and

WHEREAS, mental health challenges among our youth have been exacerbated by pandemic-related disruption to routines, social isolation, and learning loss, with BIPOC youth and LGBTQIA+ youth being at particularly increased risk for self-harm; and

WHEREAS, approximately one-half of chronic mental illness begin by the age of 14 and three-quarters by age 24, early identification and treatment can improve lifelong outcomes for young people with mental illness; and

WHEREAS, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, the 2nd leading cause among both youth and young adults, and 90 percent of people who die by suicide had shown symptoms of a mental health condition; and

WHEREAS, we stand in solidarity with all people in our state to help end the silence and stigma that for too long has made people feel isolated or alone and has discouraged them from seeking the help and support they need, and above all we are committed to ensuring that children, youth and adults experiencing mental health challenges are treated with the compassion, respect and dignity they deserve; 

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that I, Janet T. Mills, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby proclaim the month of May as

Mental Health Awareness Month

in Maine to shine a light on mental illness and the need for long-term improvements in our mental health care system and increased access to care for all so no one feels alone.

In testimony whereof, I have caused the Great Seal of the State to be hereunto affixed GIVEN under my hand at Augusta this tenth day of May Two Thousand Twenty-Two

Official Seal of the State of Maine

  • Signature of Shenna Bellows
  • Shenna Bellows
  • Secretary of State
  • TRUE ATTESTED COPY
  • Signature of Janet Mills
  • Janet T. Mills
  • Governor