Mental Health

Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez

Mayor Hillary Schieve | Reno
Mental Health Task Force Chair

The United States is facing an unprecedented mental health crisis, with staggering increases in stress, depression, isolation, loneliness, and accompanying mental health hurdles faced by Americans of all ages. Addressing this surging mental health crisis is one of the most pressing issues facing America’s cities.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has adopted a considerable body of policy relating to the mental health crisis and called for an adequate federal, state and local response to it. Leading U.S. Conference of Mayors’ efforts on the issue is our President, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, who chairs our recently formed Task Force on Mental Health.

U.S. Conference of Mayors’ National Survey on Mental Health

Under the leadership of U.S. Conference of Mayors’ President Mayor Hillary Schieve, we recently asked mayors to respond to a survey to help inform the work of our Mental Health Task Force, further development of the Conference’s mental health policy, and our advocacy efforts in this area. The survey sought to collect information on mental and behavioral health needs in cities and the ability of local agencies to meet residents’ service needs; mental health problems affecting young people and the services available to meet their needs; the relationship between homelessness and mental health problems; emergency response initiatives; police officer health and wellness; and behavioral health worker shortages.

Survey responses received from 117 cities in 36 states provide a wealth of information about the mental health needs in our cities, how local officials are working to address them, the problems they are facing in doing so, and what they need to better serve those with mental and behavioral health problems.


Cities reporting that requests for mental health services increased over the last two years.


Cities reporting that they do not have adequate access to the mental health resources needed to address this crisis.


Cities reporting that they have developed new programs and/ or increased funding to established programs to address growing needs for services.

“Mayors are sounding the alarm on the mental health crisis in the U.S. This challenge is only growing; it has many forms; and it will not resolve itself. People in our communities are struggling, and it will take mayors along with state and federal leaders working together to get people the help they need.”

— Mayor Hillary Schieve

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