WASHINGTON, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mental health activists in eight states are organizing to proclaim Sunday, May 4, 2014, National Mental Health and Dignity Day, as part of the annual celebration of Mental Health Month. Using social media and grassroots organizing, they are encouraging their peers around the country to organize events on this day, and asking City and State governments to recognize May 4 as an official day of observance.
They are coming together to speak out about such grave concerns as H.R. 3717 – the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013 – which would destroy initiatives that use evidence-based, voluntary, peer-run services and family supports to help people diagnosed with serious mental illnesses to recover.
The idea started when a group of people in recovery from mental health conditions began talking about the need to raise their voices "to promote the dignity of every person and to continue the fight against the prejudice and discrimination associated with mental health conditions," said one of the organizers. "This day is to demonstrate that we have a voice and that we are equal members of society."
Events are confirmed in California, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia. They include a March for Mental Health and Dignity in Orange County, Calif.; an event on the steps of the state capitol in Lansing, Mich.; and a showing in Philadelphia of the documentary Of Two Minds, followed by a panel discussion.
"Society has defined people with mental health diagnoses in ways that do not represent who we are," a group member declared. "We aim to fight for equality...the right to choose our own paths to recovery, the right to be architects of our own destiny, and the right to be treated with dignity and respect!"
About one in four adults experiences a mental health disorder in a given year. "This is a public health issue," said another member of the group. "We need to educate the public that people can and do recover."
To find out more, visit http://www.mentalhealthdignityday.org, and consider contributing to their fundraising campaign. Mental Health and Dignity Day is now a national partner with Creating Community Solutions, which is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the White House as a part of the National Dialogue on Mental Health.
SOURCE National Mental Health & Dignity Day