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The National Institute of Mental Health archives materials that are over 4 years old and no longer being updated. The content on this page is provided for historical reference purposes only and may not reflect current knowledge or information.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the State of Mental Health Care in the United States

Science Update

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, has written an opinion piece  on the state of mental health care in the United States. It appeared in the February 4th online edition of USA Today and coincides with the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s address to Congress on this topic.

This opinion piece, along with the Secretary’s previous statement, coincides with the national dialogue on mental health, a year-long initiative to improve the understanding of mental illness and reduce stigma. The dialogue came about from President’s Obama’s Sandy Hook Response Plan  (pdf).

Specifically, the goal is to ensure students and young adults get early and adequate treatment for mental health issues. Along with this national dialogue, HHS Secretary Sebelius announced a plan to add 5,000 mental health specialists focused on the needs of youth and created Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) to reach 750,000 children by training teachers and other adults who interact with youth to recognize and properly refer children who may be in need of mental health services.

Learn more about treatment of children with mental disorders.