2009 Senate Joint Resolution 73
ENROLLED JOINT RESOLUTION
Relating to: the life and public service of Harriet Shetler.
Whereas, Harriet Shetler, advocate for those with mental health needs, passed away on March 30, 2010, at the age of 92; and
Whereas, Harriet Jane McCown was born in Leechburg, Pennsylvania, the daughter of a minister and former teacher, loved books and writing from an early age, and turned that interest into a successful career in journalism and teaching; and
Whereas, Harriet was married to Charles W. Shetler for 67 years and together, they raised two children, Jane S. Ross (Richard) and Charles R. Shetler; and
Whereas, Harriet's advocacy for mental health began when she was faced with her son's schizophrenia diagnosis; and
Whereas, as she was looking to learn from others who had family members with mental health needs, Harriet was introduced to Beverly Young; and
Whereas, together, they held the first meeting of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill in April 1977, which was attended by 13 people and within six months, the organization had 75 members; and
Whereas, finding that there were other local organizations with the goal of bringing awareness to mental health needs, Harriet suggested that the Alliance for the Mentally Ill hold a national conference in 1979, which over 250 people attended, leading to the founding of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill; and
Whereas, an effort born out of the need for two women trying to understand mental illness in their own families has evolved into a national force for advocacy for all people affected by mental illness, and Harriet's vision has affected countless families on their journey and will be felt by generations to come; and
Whereas, Harriet was preceded in death by her husband, who died nine days before her on March 21, 2010, but is survived by her daughter Jane, son Charles, and two grandchildren; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That members of the Wisconsin legislature honor Harriet Shetler for her humanitarian works and express their sorrow at her death.