April 28, 2020

New Initiative Responds to COVID-19 Impact on Mental Health

Public and private sector leaders come together to promote mental health, well-being.

On April 28, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) housed at Education Development Center (EDC) launched the Mental Health & Suicide Prevention National Response to COVID-19 (National Response).

The new initiative responds to recent research, including a Gallup survey, that found Americans feel their mental health is suffering more than their physical or financial health due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Response brings together diverse leaders from public and private sectors to address the pandemic’s short- and long-term mental health consequences.

Joshua Gordon, MD, PhD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, founder of The Kennedy Forum, will lead the National Response. A steering committee composed of senior leaders from public and private sectors, including Jerry Reed, EDC’s senior vice president for practice leadership, will work together to guide the National Response.

Through this new initiative, the Action Alliance will convene government agencies, corporations, and nongovernmental organizations to comprehensively and collectively address mental health and suicide prevention. The National Response aims to:

  • Leverage the Action Alliance’s collective influence and expertise to coordinate a national mental health and suicide prevention response
  • Support and disseminate evidence-informed best practices to help communities across the nation prioritize mental health
  • Unite efforts to amplify messages of hope, resiliency, and support

“With millions of Americans hurting, it’s more important than ever to make mental health and suicide prevention a national priority,” said Reed. “By bringing together leading organizations, this collective effort is committed to addressing the impacts of this pandemic on our country’s mental and emotional well-being.”