Understanding the Impact: May Mental Health Awareness and the May Revise

As you may know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month, dedicated to recognizing and addressing the challenges faced by millions of Americans living with various mental and behavioral health conditions.

However, we recognize that mental health should be front and center every day as we think about personal and community wellness. The mental health crisis in our region and country continues to grow, exacerbated by the lingering effects of the pandemic and other societal stressors. US General Surgeon Vivek Murthy has even cited loneliness as a health crisis in the United States. Many of you have been working tirelessly to address this crisis through education, raising awareness, providing direct services and critical afterschool and community resources to bring people and communities together. 

Key to the delivery of vital mental health services and resources is the provision of robust local, regional and state funding to ensure quality care to the most vulnerable individuals across our region. 

State Funding of Mental Health Services 

Earlier this year, California voters approved Prop 1 to build treatment beds and housing for people experiencing severe mental health illnesses and additional mental health services. However, the proposition diminishes local control of mental health dollars, and with the current California State Budget deficit and the governor’s May revision, many are now worried about budget cuts and the future of mental health infrastructure and funding. While Prop 1 and other mental health funding sources have not been reduced or cut, significant cuts are still being proposed for several other public health initiatives.

What does this mean for nonprofits in the IE? 

As we heard from policy, budget and legislative experts at our IE Vibrant Health Forum, nonprofits have powerful voices and should engage in public policy advocacy. Lifting up local issues and key priorities for those we serve is an essential role of nonprofit leaders. What happens at the legislature affects the work we do and the communities we care about.

For many nonprofits, you might not see your work as being central to mental health and health equity, but creating safe spaces that cultivate relationships, connection and community is vital to nurturing mental health and overall well-being. Thank you for all you do to advance Vibrant Health across the Inland Empire.

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