Skip to main content

Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

 Archived Content

The National Institute of Mental Health archives materials that are over 4 years old and no longer being updated. The content on this page is provided for historical reference purposes only and may not reflect current knowledge or information.

50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy Sent a Special Message to Congress About the State of Mental Health

Press Release

Fifty years ago, on February 5, 1963, President John F. Kennedy sent a special message to Congress about the state of mental health. His statement led to meaningful change in the way Americans view mental health care.

Reflecting on President Kennedy’s words, NIMH Director Dr. Thomas Insel said at a recent Senate committee hearing on Assessing the State of America’s Mental Health System, “We’ve made tremendous strides over the past 50 years. A lot has happened in that time but we have a long way to go.”

Celebrating JFK’s Mental Health Speech