Demi Lovato and Mental Health Advocates Demand Reform

US Capitol Building at duskShortly after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six teachers, President Barack Obama promised to reform the nation’s mental health system. Nearly two years later, the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s (NAMI) National Day of Action brought hundreds of people to the capitol to demand mental health reform.

Mental Health Advocates Converge on Capitol

As part of its four-day annual convention, NAMI gathered mental health advocates from across the country to demand change to the country’s mental health system. On September 4, Demi Lovato, the singer and former X-Factor judge, addressed the crowd. Lovato discussed her own struggles with bipolar and emphasized the need for mental health reform. 

World Suicide Prevention Day

The gathering was just in time for World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. Suicide claims nearly 40,000 lives in the United States every year, and yields an additional 700,000 emergency room visits. A variety of organizations are working to lower this rate, and President Obama’s promise to reform the mental health system has served as a rallying cry for several groups. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has argued that reducing suicide by 20% by 2025 is an attainable goal. The organization is hosting a variety of suicide awareness events in Washington, D.C., for National Suicide Prevention Week.

Last week, the World Health Organization issued its first ever report on suicide prevention. The report found that 800,000 people worldwide die by suicide every year. Pesticide poisoning, guns, and hanging are the most common methods of suicide, and the report argues that limiting access to common suicide methods can reduce suicide. According to the report, only 28 countries currently have a suicide prevention plan.

References:

  1. Andrews, H. (2014, September 4). Singer Demi Lovato gets the crowd on its feet over mental health advocacy. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/wp/2014/09/04/singer-demi-lovato-gets-the-crowd-on-its-feet-over-mental-health-advocacy/
  2. First WHO report on suicide prevention. (2014, September 4). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/suicide-prevention-report/en/
  3. Suicide and self-inflicted injury. (2014, July 14). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm

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  • Jack

    Jack

    September 10th, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    I want the views to change but I don’t think that this is something that can be done by demand or by mandate. This is change that has to be heartfelt and real, not just ebcause someone is telling you that it is the right thing to do.

  • Carson

    Carson

    September 10th, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    I am stunned that with this many cases of suicide and attempted suicide reported each year that there are only 28 or so countries with a prevention plan for this. Are you serious?!?

  • kourtney d.

    kourtney d.

    September 11th, 2014 at 3:59 AM

    Believe me, I want there to be reform and change as much as the next person does. I am glad that finally after so many years we are now seeing people in the spotlight who actually have some clout from the general public get involved and lend their voices to this very real fight for change that we are undergoing. I just think that many of us can do so many things but you get that one celeb who can make a difference, not because what they say is any different than what the rest of us have been saying all along, but mainly because they are recognizable and when they speak there are going to be more people who will be willing to listen.

  • Abbot

    Abbot

    September 11th, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Thankfully I have never been in that position where I felt hthat ending my life would make it all better for everyone that I loved and who loved me. Sadly there are thousands of people each year though who do feel that way, and many of them succeed with ending their lives.
    Think of all of the sadness that they had to endure to get to that place in their lives and the sadness that they then leave behind once they have accomplished what they have set out to do.
    If it takes a march on Washington or similar marches all across the globe we have to find a way to stop this from happening. Too many lives are being wasted through suicide and if we don’t do something to prevent this now, then sooner or later each and every one of us will have had to live with the loss of someone important to us because if suicide.

  • Ruth Ann

    Ruth Ann

    September 12th, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    The time is now to carry forward with this fight. I certainly hope that it does not lose momentum but only continues to increase its urgency and message.

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