The Power of Advocacy
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
~~ Margaret Mead, American anthropologist (1901-1978)
In June 2012, advocates for families affected by mental illness scored a major victory when the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law by President Obama in March 2010. The ruling represents an enormous step forward in equitable treatment and increased access to care for individuals living with mental illness. See article on Affordable Care Act.
NAMI Mercer members work continuously to improve public policies for people with serious mental illnesses at the county, state, and national levels. Our advocacy agenda includes:
- increasing access to treatment and services
- improving the mental health service system in our state
- using evidence-based, best practices in treatment and rehabilitation
- promoting early intervention
- preventing the criminalization of mental illness
- supporting recovery in the least restrictive environment
- ensuring adequate funding for supportive housing and all levels of care.
"Action is the catalyst that creates accomplishments. It is the path that takes us from uncrafted hopes to realized dreams."
~~ Thomas Huxley, physiologist (1825-1895)
Here are some ways that you can take action:
- Join NAMI Mercer to increase our strength in numbers.
- Join the NAMI Mercer Advocacy Committee.
- Tell another person about your experience with mental illness to fight stigma.
- Sign up to receive Stigmabuster alerts and send your protests to challenge negative stereotypes.
- Cut out a newspaper article with a positive message about mental illness and share it with others to spread hope.
- Write a letter to an editor expressing your view on a relevant issue.
- Exercise your political power by tracking the voting record of your state and national representatives.
- Attend or testify at public hearings to tell your story to legislators; write to them to express your opinion.
- Fight stigma by participating in our annual NAMIWalk.