The need for new and improved policies to help improve the lives of those impacted by mental health conditions has never been greater. Here are steps you can take to be a mental health advocate.
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Learn Why We Need Better Mental Health Policies
Know the facts and help spread the word.
We need new and improved policies to help individuals, families and our communities.
NAMI Petitions: Support National Policies Endorsed by NAMI National
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.
Take Action: Urge your elected representatives to support the Medicaid Reentry Act, to provide timely access to mental health care. Jails and prisons are at the center of America’s mental health crisis, with 2 in 5 people who are incarcerated having a mental illness. We need to do more to support successful re-entry, and can start by having Medicaid pay for health care for eligible individuals in the 30 days before their release, helping ensure a smoother transition to receiving community-based care for their substance use and/or mental health condition. Sign NAMI’s petition.
Support Better Crisis Response: Sign NAMI’s petition to reach out to your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the Behavioral Health Crisis Services Expansion Act (S. 1902/H.R. 5611) to revamp our current response to mental health and suicidal crises. Now more than ever, we need to provide better mental health support for those in crisis, and this legislation will establish national standards for crisis care, including universally available 24/7 local crisis call centers, mobile crisis teams, crisis stabilization centers, short-term residential care, and behavioral health urgent walk-in care.
More: Learn more about 988, the three-digit number for mental health and suicidal crises that will launch 3-digit nationwide launch in July 2022.
NAMI California: Take Action to Support California Policies
Stay Informed About Local Legislation and Follow Actions 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! Find your Congressional representative here; find your California State Senator here and find your Los Angeles representative.
Learn to Be An Advocate
NAMI California’s Advocacy Toolkit includes guidance on how to be mental health advocate.
Vote and Help Get Out the Vote
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!