PRESIDENT CLINTON AND TIPPER GORE
ANNOUNCE NEW CAMPAIGN
TO COMBAT THE STIGMAS SURROUNDING MENTAL ILLNESS
AND ENCOURAGE PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS TO GET HELP
June 5, 1999
Today, in a joint radio address, President Clinton and Tipper Gore will
announce a new national campaign to eliminate the stigma of mental
illness and encourage the millions of Americans with mental health
needs to get help. The President and Mrs. Gore will discuss the myths
surrounding mental illness and presented the real facts about these
diseases. The President, Mrs. Gore, and others will continue this
discussion on Monday as part of the first-ever White House Conference
on Mental Health, chaired by Mrs. Gore, the President's Mental Health
Advisor. Today, the President and Mrs. Gore will:
Announce National Campaign to Combat the Stigma of Mental Illness and
Encourage Americans with Mental Health Needs to Get Help. The
President and Mrs. Gore announced the launch this fall of a new
nationwide campaign, with Mrs. Gore serving as the honorary chair, to
dispel the myths surrounding mental illness and encourage those with
mental illness to get help. This new nationwide campaign will be a
public-private partnership, led by the Surgeon General and the Ad
Council, which will involve a wide range of community organizations,
media, and others. This campaign will draw from many of the issues
raised at the White House Conference on Mental Health.
Unveil New Information to dispel the Myths of Mental Illness. The
President and Mrs. Gore Contrasted the myths surrounding mental illness
with the facts about these diseases:
Myth: Mental illness is not a disease and cannot be treated.
Fact: Mental illnesses are diagnosable disorders of the brain,
and treatments are effective 60 to 80 percent of the time.
Myth: Mental illness doesn't happen to people like my family or
Fact: One in five Americans will suffer at some point from a
mental illness. These Americans are from all backgrounds.
Myth: Depression is a part of life that can be worked through
without seeking treatment.
Fact: Depression is a diagnosable treatable illness that affects
19 million adult Americans each year and is the leading cause of
disability in the United States.
Myth: Teenagers don't suffer from "real" mental illness; they are
Fact: One in ten children and adolescents suffer from mental
Myth: Depression is a part of aging.
Fact: Five million older Americans suffer from clinical
depression; whereas older people comprise 13 percent of the
population, they account for 20 percent of all suicides.
Myth: Talk about suicide is an idle threat that need not be taken
Fact: Research has shown that 90 percent of all suicide victims
have had a mental or substance abuse disorder. People who admit
to having thoughts and plans about suicide and people who have
attempted suicide are at increased risk for completing suicide in
Myth: We cannot afford to treat mental disorders.
Fact: States and businesses that have improved treatment of
mental illness, including implementing parity, have not seen a
major increase in costs.
Myth: Mental health problems are really the result of poor
Fact: Mental illnesses are biologically based illnesses, and
generally have nothing to do with parenting.
Myth: A homeless person suffering from mental illness has little
chance of recovery.
Fact: Research demonstrates a decrease in homelessness with an
effective style of case management that connects the person with
treatment for his disorder, as well as providing housing and other
Myth: There is no hope for people with mental illness.
Fact: Mental illnesses are successfully treated at a higher rate
than many other chronic illnesses.
Highlight the First-Ever White House Conference on Mental Health.
These facts and myths of mental illness, and the White House's new
nationwide campaign on this issue, will be discussed on Monday at the
first-ever White House Conference on Mental Health, which will involve
tens of thousands of Americans around the country at over 1,000 cites
connected to the conference in Washington.