Virtual Hill Day Kickoff
Join Mental Health America (MHA) for a virtual Hill Day on Monday, May 11, 2020. This day of advocacy will help affiliates, people with lived experience, caregivers, and the general public unite and engage legislators through calls, emails, and social media posts to increase mental health funding as a critical component of any upcoming COVID-19 emergency relief legislation. Special guests, legislators, and MHA leadership will be presenting an online kickoff, starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT / 9:00 a.m. PDT.
COVID-19 is having a devastating effect on mental health as well as physical health. There is an immediate need for all of us to urge our elected representatives to act. MHA’s screening data for February through April 2020 demonstrates an increase in prevalence and severity of anxiety and depression in youth and adults, as well as thousands of screeners citing loneliness, isolation, and COVID-19 as contributing to their mental health challenges right now. Congress must act NOW to address these needs. Let your voice be heard.
- Opening remarks & housekeeping - Debbie Plotnick, Vice President of Federal and State Advocacy, MHA
- MHA National screening data trends - Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO, MHA
- Special guest – Invited: Chris Wood, MHA National Board Member and MHA Brand Ambassador
- Legislator remarks
- Federal legislative update - Mary Giliberti, Executive Vice President of Policy, MHA
- Formal presentation of Hill Day asks/actions to take (phone, email, social) – Debbie Plotnick, Vice President of Federal and State Advocacy, MHA, and Caren Howard, Advocacy Manager, MHA
- Question and answer session
- Webinar concludes
The COVID-19 pandemic is overwhelming our communities and our nation’s health care system, including for mental health and addiction services. Congress must take immediate action to prevent the behavioral health system from collapsing and to mitigate a greater public health and economic crisis from untreated mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
MHA’s Advocacy Team mobilizes stakeholders to act on Hill Day as part of a nationwide movement toward a robust mental health system that promotes prevention and early intervention initiatives, access to integrated community-based treatments, and supports that are recovery-focused and that encompass community inclusion.
MHA – founded in 1909 – is the nation's leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. Our work is driven by our commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated care, services, and supports for those who need them, with recovery as the goal. Much of our current work is guided by the Before Stage 4 (B4Stage4) philosophy – that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach a chronic stage.