Last Monday, President Obama launched a national conversation on mental illness. His administration estimates that there are 45 million Americans currently suffering from some sort of mental illness.

President Obama would like people to reduce the stigma on mental illness and for more people to come forward if they’re suffering from of some type of mental illness such as depression, post-traumatic stress, and schizophrenia.

President Obama said, “We all know somebody — a family member, a friend, a neighbor — who has struggled or will struggle with mental health issues at some point in their lives.”

Also on that day, a website, mentalhealth.gov, was launched to help aid people suffering from mental illness and for people who have received help to share their success stories so other people will forward.

Ruth Sauceda, a lunch lady at Hiram Johnson High School’s cafeteria said,  “I think it’s sad because imagine everyone you see is out to hurt you or you can’t trust anyone because of what you’ve been through.”

Sauceda thinks that their should be more awareness about mental health and law enforcement especially should be more careful.

“Just imagine all the mentally ill people who have been killed or injured by law enforcement because of the state of mind they are in, if we are aggressive now imagine someone that isn’t in their complete state of mind,” said Sauceda.

The President’s ultimate goal is for people to not be scared of coming forward with their mental illness.

“We need to see it that men and women who would never hesitate to go see a doctor if they had a broken arm or came down with the flu, that they have that same attitude when it comes to their mental health,” said Obama.

Locally, Sacramento was chosen as one of five pilot sites for mental health awareness conferences. On July 20th, residents will have a chance to participant in a day-long dialogue at the Sacramento Convention Center. Accesslocal.tv will cover the event.