Bill Text: CA AR108 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Relative to National Mental Health Awareness Month.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 52-18-1)

Status: (Passed) 2022-05-16 - Read. Adopted. [AR108 Detail]

Download: California-2021-AR108-Introduced.html


House Resolution
No. 108

Introduced by Assembly Member Irwin

April 28, 2022

Relative to National Mental Health Awareness Month.


HR 108, as introduced, Irwin.

WHEREAS, Mental illness is one of the leading causes of disabilities in the United States, affecting one out of every four families and victimizing both the person with the illness and those persons who care for and love the person afflicted; and
WHEREAS, Serious mental illness costs Americans approximately $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year; and
WHEREAS, The National Institute of Mental Health has reported that many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time and that 45 percent of those with a mental disorder meet criteria for two or more disorders, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, and cancer, and the severity of the mental disorder strongly relates to comorbidity; and
WHEREAS, Between 2019 and 2020, almost all age groups saw a decline in suicide rates, except youth 10 to 18 years of age. This age group saw a dramatic increase of 20 percent in suicide rates for 2020; and
WHEREAS, Black youth experienced a 28-percent increase in their suicide rate in 2020; and
WHEREAS, The University of California at San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland reported a 63-percent increase in children experiencing mental health emergencies in 2020 compared to 2019; and
WHEREAS, In October 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association came together to declare a national state of emergency in children’s mental health; and
WHEREAS, United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory in December of 2021—a move reserved for the most urgent public health challenges—highlighting the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on the already dire state of children’s mental health; and
WHEREAS, In California, there are over 60,000 children in the foster care system, and many youth still exit care without the support and guidance they need to successfully transition; and
WHEREAS, Research indicates foster youth experience rates of homelessness ranging from 11 percent to 38 percent, disproportionately higher than the general population; and
WHEREAS, Fifty-seven million Americans have a mental disorder in any given year, but fewer than 40 percent of adults living with a mental illness, and slightly more than one-half of youth 8 to 15 years of age, inclusive, with a mental illness, received mental health services in the last year; and
WHEREAS, Although mental illness impacts all people, many of those in lower income communities receive less care and poorer quality of care, and often lack access to culturally competent care, thereby resulting in mental health disparities; and
WHEREAS, Some see negative perceptions about mental health care as a significant factor contributing to limited or nonexistent access to care, and some common concerns are stigma, culture, masculinity, exposure to violence, and lack of information and awareness, among many others; and
WHEREAS, According to the California Reducing Disparities Project, being misdiagnosed and given severe mental health diagnoses can be stigmatizing and can affect a person’s self-esteem, which, in turn, can discourage the person from seeking help; and
WHEREAS, Nearly two-thirds of all people with a diagnosable mental illness do not receive mental health treatment due to stigma, lack of community-based resources, inadequate diagnosis, or no diagnosis; and
WHEREAS, Across the United States, 16.5 percent of schoolage children have at least one mental health disorder, and suicide is now the second leading cause of death for youth; and
WHEREAS, Academic studies show that one-half of those individuals who will develop mental health disorders show symptoms by 14 years of age, yet only 4 percent of eligible children utilize Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services; and
WHEREAS, An estimated 70 percent of all youth in the juvenile justice system have at least one mental health condition, and at least 20 percent live with severe mental illness that is usually undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, untreated, or ineffectively treated, thus leaving those detained in the juvenile justice system in a vulnerable condition; and
WHEREAS, There is a need to improve public awareness of mental illness and to strengthen local and national awareness of brain diseases, so that all those with mental illness may receive adequate and appropriate treatment that will result in their becoming fully functioning members of society; and
WHEREAS, Access to mental health treatment and services is of paramount importance; and
WHEREAS, There is a need to encourage primary care physicians to offer screenings, to partner with mental health care providers, to seek appropriate referrals to specialists, and to encourage timely and accurate diagnoses of mental disorders; and
WHEREAS, The Assembly wishes to enhance public awareness of mental illness; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly of the State of California hereby recognizes May 2022 as National Mental Health Awareness Month in California to enhance public awareness of mental illness; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.