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Advocacy

Public policy makes a difference in the lives of both the people living with mental health conditions and the people in their lives. Changes in policy can mean better outcomes. Our advocacy efforts have led to many victories including:

  • Securing better funding for research.
  • Protecting access to treatments and services.
  • Attaining mental health parity to ensure that mental illness is treated equally to physical illness in most insurance plans.

But we still have work to do, and we need your help. Learn about mental health advocacy. Talk to your neighbors, friends and family about why these issues are important. Find out how you can get involved with your local NAMI’s advocacy efforts.

To learn more about NAMI’s stance on advocacy and public policy issues that affect adults and children living with mental illness and their family, read the NAMI Public Policy Platform (PDF).

– See more at: NAMI Public Policy

-See more at: NAMI Mental Health by the Numbers

-See more at: Mental Health and Addiction in Oklahoma Statistics

NAMI Smarts for Advocacy is a hands-on advocacy training program that helps people living with mental illness, friends and family transform their passion and lived experience into skillful grassroots advocacy.

NAMI Smarts for Advocacy is designed as a series of three 1-2 hour workshops or modules or as a single full-day training that develop the following skills:

  • Telling a compelling story that is inspiring and makes an “ask” in 90 seconds
  • Writing an effective email, making an elevator speech and making an impactful phone call
  • Orchestrating a successful meeting with an elected official

The unique step-by-step, skill-building design of NAMI Smarts is effective with a wide range of participants, including those who are new to advocacy as well as individuals with years of experience.

Participants routinely share that they’ve never been able to condense their story or made a clear “ask,” but with NAMI Smarts, they are now able to.

Lobbyists who represent NAMI State Organizations or mental health coalitions also love this program—they see participants come out confident and able to share their story in a way that moves policymakers.

If you would like to have a Smarts for Advocacy training in your community, contact Paula Stafford at (800) 583-1264.

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