USCM President Suarez Appoints Reno Mayor Schieve to Chair Effort, Working Closely with US Surgeon General

Reno, Nevada – During the 90th Annual Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, USCM President Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced the creation of a new official Task Force on Mental Health. The Task Force will be chaired by USCM Vice President and Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, who has been a champion of this issue and for those suffering from mental health challenges. Cities have increasingly made providing mental health services a priority, and the USCM has been working closely with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on solutions and best practices for getting people needed help and resources.

“Mental health is one of the great challenges of our time, and that means mayors are going to be playing a leading role answering it,” said USCM President Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. “Already cities are devoting resources for those in need, and I know this Task Force will be an engine for innovation and solutions. I’m grateful to Mayor Schieve for her outstanding leadership on this issue and for Dr. Murthy’s continued partnership to help promote health, wellness, and safety in cities.”

“Millions of Americans are suffering today, and too many are doing so in silence. While we’ve made progress to break down barriers to this critical care and end the stigma associated with mental health, we have so much more work to do,” said Mayor Schieve. “This Task Force will help guide a national conversation and build on the work that mayors across the country are already doing to fill critical gaps in care that are leaving too many behind. I’m grateful to Mayor Suarez for entrusting me to lead this important effort.”

Surgeon General Murthy, who is joining mayors today in Reno to discuss mental health and wellbeing, said: “We have both a medical and a moral obligation to confront the mental health crisis devastating our country — especially our young people,” said Dr. Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States. “That means not only increasing access to treatment and investing more in prevention, but it also requires us to do the essential work of rebuilding social connection and community. High rates of loneliness have been an important contributor to mental health challenges even before COVID-19 — and they have also had negative effects on school and workplace performance, and on our ability to dialogue and build trust in our communities. I’m grateful to Mayor Suarez, Mayor Schieve, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors for their commitment to addressing this crisis with the urgency and care it deserves.”