Inaugural Workforce Development Forum Day


By the Governor of Alabama

WHEREAS, mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and co-occurring disorders affect millions of individuals, as well as their concerned families and friends; and

WHEREAS, data reveals approximately 1 in 5 adults, or 43.8 million people, aged 19 and older in the United States experience mental illness, and 1 in 5 youth aged 13 to 18, or 21.4 percent experiences a serious mental illness in a given year; and

WHEREAS, data reveals approximately 21.6 million Americans aged 12 and older were classified with substance dependence or abuse; and

WHEREAS, approximately 7.9 million adults experience the coexistence of both a mental health and a substance use disorder, a condition that is known as having a co-occurring disorder; and

WHEREAS, this year marks the inaugural year of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH), hosting a Workforce Development Forum in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), and Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM), which seeks to increase the number of college and university students that choose to join these specialized disciplines; and

WHEREAS, it is critical to educate our students, communities, policymakers, friends and family members, health care providers and businesses that mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and co-occurring disorders are treatable and that people should seek assistance for these conditions with the same urgency as they would any other health condition; and

WHEREAS, by 2020, mental and substance use disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide; and

WHEREAS, this year’s Workforce Development Forum, emphasizes the need for the addiction and mental health field, as well as the recruitment of addiction professionals, to address the current opioid crisis, marijuana, alcohol, and other substance use and mental health disorders. The benefits of preventing and overcoming mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders are significant and valuable to individuals, families, and communities. Supportive individuals, systems, and communities are catalysts of societal change; and

WHEREAS, April 17, 2017 has been designated by the Alabama Department of Mental Health, as Inaugural Workforce Development Forum Day, with the host site, AUM, and satellite universities/affiliates throughout the state highlighting this valuable profession:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert Bentley, Governor of Alabama, do hereby proclaim April 17, 2017, as

Inaugural Workforce Development Forum Day

in the State of Alabama.

Given Under My Hand and the Great Seal of the Office of the Governor at the State Capitol in the City of Montgomery on the 29th day of March 2017.

Robert Bentley