President Obama Tuesday pointed to the importance of addressing mental illness as part of a nationwide effort to stem gun violence. The president requested from Congress additional resources to increase access to mental health care. Hospital leaders know all too well that mental illness is too common in every community. It causes suffering in the adults and children affected and their families, and it has a significant economic and social impact. Treatment works, but the stigma often associated with behavioral health disorders keeps people from getting the care they need. With local collaboration involving public health, law enforcement and other community-based groups, the hospital family can play a central role in building understanding and awareness and increasing access to behavioral health services. Be certain that the AHA will continue to advocate for equitable and appropriate reimbursement and regulatory policies, as well as delivering best practice tools and resources to help you offer these vital services and continue to play a critical role in the overall health of your community.