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Mental Health Awareness Month

May 1, 2024

WHEREAS, mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being and affects how we think, feel, and act, as well as how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices ; and

WHEREAS, four percent of adults today live with a variety of mental health disorders and illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and a growing number of other debilitating behavioral health conditions; and

WHEREAS, anyone is susceptible to experiencing declines and difficulties with mental health, just as we are susceptible to physical health issues and emergencies, and nearly 20 percent of children and young people in the United States have a mental, emotional, developmental or behavioral disorder; and

WHEREAS, addressing complex mental health needs with coordinated, comprehensive mental health services provides relief for families and individuals who are struggling with the difficult process of locating appropriate treatment protocols; and

WHEREAS , suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 34 and the 11th leading cause of death in the United States, so we must help our neighbors and loved ones understand the importance of prioritizing mental health, especially in Alaska where we face unique risk factors such as challenging climates and geography; and

WHEREAS, Alaskans must work together to overcome and eliminate the discrimination and stigma surrounding mental health that could deter individuals from seeking consistent support and adequate mental health treatments; and

WHEREAS, through their unique approach to serving their clients, mental health providers and professionals are able to assist families with individualized and potentially life-saving care.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim May 2024 as:

Mental Health Awareness Month

in Alaska and urge all Alaskans to aid those affected by mental health issues and recognize the important role that support, acceptance, and mental health services play in enriching our lives.

Dated: May 1, 2024