Governors Support Mental Health Awareness Month

Governors are taking actions to acknowledge May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Founded in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month aims to provide education, reduce stigma, and advocate for policies that support individuals with mental illness.

Mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression, are common and treatable. One in five Americans experience a mental illness each year, but only half receive treatment.

Governors Actions

Supporting individuals with mental illness and their families has grown as a bipartisan priority for Governors in recent years. To support Mental Health Awareness Month, Governors have taken actions, including the following:

  • Michigan – Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation that highlights the 988 Crisis Hotline and the Michigan Workplace Mental Health Hub to support employees and employers address workplace mental health.
  • Missouri – Governor Mike Parson issued a proclamation naming a partnership between the Missouri Department of Mental Health and the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) to provide information, treatment resources and promote a public understanding of mental illness. His proclamation also named May 5-11 as Children’s Mental Health Week.
  • New York – To support Mental Health Awareness Month, Governor Kathy Hochul issued a proclamation that directed 15 state buildings to be illuminated green to raise awareness of mental health and behavioral health care, as well as highlighted the Administration’s $1 Billion, multi-year plan to expand behavioral health services for New Yorkers.
  • Wyoming – Governor Mark Gordon is recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month through highlighting a series of webinars focused on educating the residents of   Wyoming on mental health and promoting the Administration’s five-pillar road map     to support mental wellbeing. Governor Gordon’s five pillars include: 1. Access to Care, 2. Affordability of Care, 3. Quality of Care, 4. Innovation, and 5. Suicide Prevention and Destigmatization.

NGA Actions

To support Governor Murphy’s 2023 Chair’s Initiative on Strengthening Youth Mental Health, NGA is currently supporting six states (Alabama, Hawai’i, Kentucky, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Virginia) through a policy academy with implementing recommendations from Strengthening Youth Mental Health: A Playbook for Governors. States will receive in-depth technical assistance through December 2024.

Additional Resources

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a toolkit to support states and organizations with promoting Mental Health Awareness Month. The toolkit includes key messages, hashtags and graphics that can be shared on social media.

For more information on how Governors are supporting Mental Health Awareness Month, please contact Marianne Gibson (