"Mental health is a part of so many challenges this country faces - from poverty and unemployment, to homelessness and public safety, to health care and child development. In local government, we see these challenges every day and must face them head-on, with or without broader support from our partners in the federal government. Cities Thrive shows us what we can and must do on a local level to help our communities. We will work together, implement change and fiercely advocate until mental health is a priority across party lines and across this country," said Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City.
"We need to have a national conversation on mental health care. Mayors understand challenges ignored by federal and state governments wind up putting some of our most vulnerable residents on our streets, living at the intersection of homelessness, poverty, and, all too often, jails. We can do better. Health and wellness are about more than exercise and good diet - if mental health issues aren't addressed, a person cannot be truly healthy," said Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City and former President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
"Initiatives like Cities Thrive that engage local communities on mental health reform will go a long way towards improving access to mental health care and reducing stigma. I applaud First Lady Chirlane McCray and all national, state, and local organizations involved in this partnership," said Chris Murphy, Senator from Connecticut and co-author of the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act.
"In cities across our nation, we are faced with increasing homelessness, income insecurity, and high instances of trauma caused by violence. High quality behavioral health services are vital for the safety and overall success of our communities, that's why I am part of the Cities Thrive coalition," said Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland.
"Mental health has been marginalized in our country for far too long. It takes a community all working together to tackle this complex issue. The City of Albuquerque banded together to open this discussion in order to make meaningful resource allocation and policy decisions to address this mental health crisis. I am proud to be a part of this nationwide coalition of leaders banding together to solve such a complex issue." said Richard Berry, Mayor of Albuquerque.
"It is time to have meaningful dialogue and true solutions on how best to improve and provide access to mental health care. Addressing the basic needs of citizens includes mental wellness and there is a true need on every level to focus on this aspect of overall everyday well-being of our citizens, especially the most vulnerable," said William Bell, Mayor of Birmingham.