Proclamations, October 9, 1984

Proclamation 5252 -- National Down's Syndrome Month, 1984

October 9, 1984

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

In the past decade, the United States has entered a new era of hope for its developmentally disabled citizens. This new age of enlightened understanding recognizes that developmentally disabled persons have a great potential for achieving and overcoming handicaps. Down's syndrome, a condition once thought to be without hope of positive change, is one of the best symbols of this changing attitude.

Progress is evident on several fronts. Research has uncovered the genetic basis for the condition and points the way to its ultimate prevention. Advances in medical treatment can minimize defects associated with the condition and have extended the life-span of those who have it. School doors have been unlocked to Down's syndrome children, and special education classes within mainstream school programs have been developed. Vocational training in preparation for gainful employment and independent living has become available.

These advances have not occurred by chance. They are the result of the collective effort of concerned physicians, scientific investigators, teachers and other professionals, parent groups such as the National Down's Syndrome Congress, and government. But the task remains unfinished. Public awareness and acceptance of the capabilities of persons who have Down's syndrome can greatly facilitate their being welcomed in all communities.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 254, has designated October 1984 as ``National Down's Syndrome Month'' and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this month.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 1984 as National Down's Syndrome Month, and I urge all Americans to join me in encouraging renewed efforts on behalf of the health and well-being of individuals with Down's syndrome. I invite all concerned citizens, agencies, and organizations to unite during October in support of appropriate observances and activities that will assist individuals with Down's syndrome and their families to a fuller and more rewarding life.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:38 p.m., October 9, 1984]

Proclamation 5253 -- Fire Prevention Week, 1984

October 9, 1984

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Each year, fire strikes one out of ten homes in our country. Our Nation leads the world in technological achievements but, unfortunately, it also leads the world in per capita fire losses. Every hour one person dies, and every month $2 billion is lost as a result of fire. Between 2 percent and 3 percent of our gross national product is consumed in fires annually.

It is encouraging to note that, due to the increase in public fire education efforts and use of smoke detectors, there has been a leveling off of fire deaths in recent years. Many homes, however, are still without these safety devices, and I urge community leaders to encourage their use and emphasize the need to keep them in good working order.

Removing the threat of fire from our families and businesses is a national priority. New initiatives are needed to educate the public concerning fire safety and to advise them how they may prevent or survive fire situations. More and more private sector and volunteer organizations are joining the efforts to reduce the Nation's fire loss and this is commendable.

Special recognition is due the efforts of over a million men and women, both volunteer and career, of our Nation's fire services who daily risk their lives to protect others. It is appropriate that we take time to thank them for their unselfish dedication to the principle of helping others in desperate need. Americans should also appreciate the work of all organizations concerned with fire prevention and control efforts -- in particular those which are members of the Joint Council of National Fire Service Organizations.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week of October 7 through 13, 1984, as Fire Prevention Week. I call upon the people of the United States and interested groups, volunteer organizations, businesses, and governmental organizations to plan and to participate in fire prevention activities during this week.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 9th day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:39 p.m., October 9, 1984]

Proclamation 5254 -- Mental Illness Awareness Week, 1984

October 9, 1984

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Mental illnesses are among the most misunderstood disorders. As a result, many of our citizens experience unnecessary pain. Stigma -- a by-product of fear and misunderstanding -- places an unwarranted burden on those with mental disorders and their families. It is of particular concern that the stigma associated with these problems often discourages people from seeking the help they need.

A recent National Institute of Mental Health research study found that one-fifth of adult Americans -- over 24 million people -- suffered a diagnosable mental disorder in the previous six months. In addition, an estimated 12 million children in this country have a mental disorder. Many will7E7E7E never7E7E7E reach7E7E7E full7E7E7E potential7E7E7E because their illnesses will go unrecognized and untreated.

The cost of mental illnesses to this Nation is in excess of $50 billion annually in health care and lost productivity. The cost in human suffering is beyond reckoning; however, the promise of relief is becoming a reality for many.

Research during recent decades has led to new and more effective drug, behavioral, and psychosocial treatments. For many, the pain of depression can be eased, suicide prevented, hallucinations and delusions assuaged, and crippling anxieties eliminated. Many children vulnerable to serious developmental and psychological problems can be protected by early diagnosis and intervention.

In recognition of the unparalleled growth in scientific knowledge about mental illnesses and the need to increase awareness of such knowledge, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 322, has designated the week beginning October 7, 1984 as ``Mental Illness Awareness Week'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning October 7, 1984, as Mental Illness Awareness Week. I call upon all health providers, educators, the media, public and private organizations, and the people of the United States to observe this week by participating in appropriate ceremonies and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:40 p.m., October 9, 1984]