Mental Health America Applauds President Obama for Ending Policy of Not Sending Condolence Letters to Families of Soldiers Who Die by Suicide
Contact: Steve Vetzner, (703) 797-2588 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (July 6, 2011)—Mental Health America today applauded President Obama for reversing a long-standing, unwritten policy of not sending Presidential letters of condolence to the families of service members who have died by suicide while serving their country.
“This is an important step that can help eliminate the stigma associated with suicide and provide valuable emotional support to families,” said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America.
Mental Health America has long advocated for a reversal of the condolence letter policy. Its Board of Directors passed a resolution in January of 2010 urging the change, stating that “the lack of acknowledgment and condolence from the President can leave these families with an emotional vacuum and a feeling that somehow their sacrifices may not have been as great as others who died while in the military.”
The organization also started an online petition that has been signed by thousands of individuals.
Mental Health America (www.mentalhealthamerica.net) is the nation’s largest and oldest community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. With our more than 300 affiliates across the country, we touch the lives of millions—Advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing critical information; and delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.