NAMI Mercer Local Advocacy Initiatives
Nami Mercer has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve local mental health services.
Trenton Psychiatric Family Monitors—advocating for improved conditions and patient care. Trained volunteers make regularly scheduled visits to Trenton Psychiatric Hospital (TPH), our local state facility. The TPH family-member monitors provide valuable feedback following their fact-finding trips to the hospital.
Article on TPH monitoring from Dec. 2010 Messenger
Jails and Criminal Justice Task Group—fact-finding and advocating for improved mental health treatment in Mercer County corrections facilities. This group is learning about the jail experiences of people with mental illness and will team with area partners to advocate for conditions that lead to positive treatment outcomes for people who are incarcerated. NAMI Mercer also participates in the training of law enforcement officers for Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT), shown to be effective in de-escalating crises, diverting consumers from jail, and connecting them to treatment.
Article on CIT training from Dec. 2011 Messenger
People with Mental Illness in Jails and Prisons (April 2013)
Transitions and Transfers—advocating for quality, affordable, continuous treatment by local treatment providers to ensure the best outcomes for our loved ones. The task group is studying obstacles to continuity of care as consumer needs and circumstances evolve over time (i.e., transfer to new levels of care; transition from childhood to adulthood; changes to employment or insurance status…). On a local level, this group will work to eliminate gaps in coverage and to promote access to appropriate and timely treatment.
Services for Children and Youth—advocating for quality treatment resources for families with children and youth. NAMI Mercer works to disseminate accurate information through our Helpline, outreach initiatives at local schools, and educational programs.
Relationships with Legislators—establishing and maintaining working relationships with federal and state legislators representing Mercer County. NAMI Mercer members will educate legislators about our mission and mental health concerns and will advocate for legislation that promotes best outcomes for people living with mental illness.