Statement of National Council for Behavioral Health President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia on NatCon21

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“The National Council for Behavioral Health this week will hold – virtually – the largest event in the field of mental health and substance use treatment services.

“More than 4,000 participants have registered for NatCon21, and the size and scope of the event serve as a powerful reminder that mental illness and substance use disorders represent a national dilemma.

“Mental health and substance use disorders were a grave concern even before the pandemic. Now our nation faces an even more desperate circumstance. The pandemic fueled anxiety and mental health concerns. It accelerated our nation’s overdose crisis.

“Despite the overwhelming need, nearly 30 million people across the U.S. don’t have access to comprehensive, high-quality, affordable mental health and substance use care when they need it.

“So this national discussion we will convene this week provides an opportunity to raise awareness.

“By promoting mental health, recovery from substance use challenges and equitable access to high-quality care we will ensure that mental wellbeing is a reality for everyone.

“We have so much work to do to help people with mental health and substance use challenges. But that also means we have opportunities – to erase stigma, eliminate barriers to access and repair a fractured health care system that fails so many people in need of care.”

Please visit our NatCon21 website for a full list of speakers, events and other details. The event begins May 3 and concludes May 5.

About The National Council

Founded in 1969, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing is a membership organization that drives policy and social change on behalf of over 3,400 mental health and substance use treatment organizations and the more than 10 million children, adults and families they serve. We advocate for policies to ensure equitable access to high-quality services. We build the capacity of mental health and substance use treatment organizations. And we promote greater understanding of mental wellbeing as a core component of comprehensive health and health care. Through our Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, we have trained more than 3 million people in the U.S. to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.