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Support AHP for Mental Health Awareness Month!

Jose Maro Alvarado, charcoal 

The stigma associated with mental illness is a huge obstacle to people who need help. We can think of no better way to mark Mental Health Awareness Month than to quote NAMI, the National Alliance  on Mental Illness, on the nature of this central barrier to the first step toward emotional well-being:

  • People experiencing mental health conditions often face rejection, bullying, and discrimination. This can make their journey to recovery longer and more difficult.
  • Even though most people can be successfully treated, less than half of the adults in the U.S. who need services and treatment get the help they need.
  • The average delay between the onset of symptoms and intervention is 8-10 years.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death of youth ages 15-24 and the tenth leading cause of death for all Americans.

In light of these facts, and the advances mental health advocates have made over the past decade, it is frightening to consider the potential for draconian health care reform legislation and budget cuts to health and human services.

What do we do in the face of such uncertainty? At AHP, we will do what we have always done: show up to care for the clients who show up at our LGBTQ+ mental health specialty clinic. We compassionately care for the clients who face dire life circumstances, including HIV, substance use, or homelessness—and often all three—as well as serious mental distress. And we rest assured that we will continue to do that whether or not we have the support of the Affordable Care Act, whether or not the government agencies that fund us suffer budget cuts. It won’t be easy, but we are committed to providing mental health care to our clients just as we always have been.

Part of our confidence stems from the dedication of AHP staff and volunteers. Another part—a big part—stems from our experience of supporters like you, people whose donations ensure that we are able to meet the ever-growing need for mental health care. Mental Health Awareness Month is a particularly good time to thank you for your commitment!

Jim and Lori

PS: And don’t wait until the cuts come to renew that commitment. Demand for AHP services is steady—and growing. Help us reduce our waiting list and allow us to treat more clients who come to us for care. Please give today. And please speak out to your representatives to protect all the mental health services we value.