The United States may be inching closer to a global economy, but "health care should be community care," said Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony A. Williams, in his Opening General Session address welcoming APA to the nation's capital for its 108th Annual Convention.
In fact, he said, "You should be able to seek health services--including mental health care--as easily as you see a movie."
In his welcoming remarks, Williams lauded the U.S. Surgeon General's report on mental health care, noting that as a mayor, he took away two important points: One, that mental health treatment is effective, and, two, that a wide variety of effective community-based services exists, even for the most severe mental illnesses. But those resources are underutilized, said Williams, emphasizing that there is a great potential to help people that remains untapped.
And untapped potential is something Williams knows much about.
"I was adopted by my parents when I was three or four years old and I was developmentally challenged," he said. "Somebody told my mother, 'Don't take on this child, he's never going to make it. He's disabled, he's got mental problems, all he's going to do is cause you a lot of trouble.' And I am proud to stand here, magna cum laude graduate from college, mayor of the nation's capital. I definitely made it, right?"