NAMI advocates to improve the lives of people affected by mental health conditions. From the U.S. Capitol to state legislatures to local city councils, the NAMI Alliance uses the power of lived experience to shape how our country helps people with mental illness.
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots organization for people with mental illnesses and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country.
Advocacy is a critical part of NAMI’s mission (Support, Education, and Advocacy) and it comes in many forms. As NAMI members, we can advocate (for ourselves or for our loved ones) in person, by phone, by petition, by voting, by letter, by e-mail, or via social media. We can advocate with mental health providers, educators, employers, faith groups, media, and government at all levels (local, state, and national).
NAMI shapes national public policy for people with mental illness and their families, and it provides its countless volunteer leaders with the tools, resources and skills necessary to save and strengthen mental health services in all states.
For a general introduction to NAMI advocacy and for information about NAMI policy on current issues, follow these links:
IF YOU WANT TO BE AN ADVOCATE BUT AREN’T SURE HOW TO GO ABOUT DOING IT, PLEASE CALL US AT 406-880-1013 OR E-MAIL US AT firstname.lastname@example.org
Advocacy begins at the local level. You can find information about Missoula city government, and how to contact your elected representatives, at these links:
At the state level, NAMI Montana advocates with our state legislature in Helena regarding the important mental health issues facing Montanans: community mental health services, Crisis Intervention training, suicide awareness and prevention efforts, and more. You can find information regarding legislative efforts on the NAMI Montana website: http://www.namimt.org/legislature.html
These are NAMI Montana’s priorities for the upcoming 2017 state legislative session:
1) Adequate funding for community mental health services (Mental Health Services Plan, Medicaid, Proposed Waivers, Peer Services, Crisis Service, etc.)
2) Eliminate barriers to effective co-occurring services for children’s mental health, adult mental health, substance abuse treatment and geriatric care.
3) Adequate funding for housing (including emergency, transitional, supported, and group homes)
4) Support psychiatric prescriber workforce development efforts, including a psychiatric residency program and psychiatric nurse fellowship program.
5) Improve the interface between the justice, corrections, and mental illness treatment system.
6) Improve employment opportunities for Montanans with mental illness and disabilities.
If you don’t know who represents you in the legislature, you can find out at this link:
Just enter your address, click on “Find my district,” and then click on the district indicated on the map; you’ll see the names of, and contact information for, your state senator and state representative.
This link provides guidance as to how best to communicate with legislators:
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