Looking for a way to make a difference and improve the lives of those impacted by mental health conditions? We need good policies to help individuals, families and our communities.
Our voices matter! Below, actions you can take.
National Policies to Support
Take Action: Tell Congress to fund crisis services. Next year, 988, a 3-digit number for mental health crises, will be available nationwide. But what crisis services will be available in your community if you or someone you know needs this life-saving line? NAMI is urging Congress to fund mental health crisis services. We need you to email your member of Congress to help ensure that there is more federal funding for crisis services in your community. Find out more and sign NAMI’s petition.
Take Action: Tell Congress to support mental health research. Imagine if cancer, heart disease or diabetes was diagnosed just by using a short list of questions to assess symptoms. Due to the complexity of the brain and lack of strong research, this is how people are currently diagnosed with mental health conditions. This results in many mistakes in diagnosis and ineffective treatment. Sign NAMI’s petition.
California Policies to Support
Take Action: Support Senate Bill 224 (Portantino) to provide California students in grades 1-12 with the mental health education they need. State Senator Anthony J. Portantino introduced SB 224 to require that all students in California receive age-appropriate mental health education. The bill, which NAMI California co-sponsored, ensures that students in grades 1 and 12 will receive mental health education from a qualified instructor at least one time during elementary school, one time during middle school, and one time during high school. Find out more about the legislation and read NAMI CA’s letter of support and sign our petition in support of SB 224.
Take Action: Support Assembly Bill 1065 (Maienschein) to help improve the outcomes of crisis calls involving law enforcement and people who are mentally ill. Assembly Member Brian Maienschein introduced AB 1065 to create a Mental Health Help Program that aids in training law enforcement officers to assist, and engage safely with, people living with a mental illness and allows taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to the fund on their California tax returns. Find out more about the legislation and read NAMI CA’s letter of support and sign our petition in support of SB 1065.
Take Action: Support Assembly Bill 1331 (Irwin) to ensure that individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis get the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin introduced AB 1331 to establish a new position at the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to focus on establishing and monitoring a comprehensive crisis care system that ensures Californians receive the care they deserve in the most expedient way possible. NAMI California is a co-sponsor of this bill with The California Hospital Association. Find out more about the legislation and read NAMI CA’s letter of support and sign our petition in support of SB 1331.
Read more about 2021 California legislation.
Pay Attention to Actions Taken by Your Local Leaders
Sign up for email updates from your local representatives, and follow them on social media to stay updated on their policy decisions and priorities — and let them know what’s important to you!
Learn to Be An Advocate
NAMI California’s Advocacy Toolkit includes guidance on how to be mental health advocate.
Every election provides us with an opportunity to vote for leaders and laws to improve mental health services for individuals, families and communities. Commit to registering to vote in each election, make a voting plan, and encourage your friends, family and co-workers to vote as well!