NAMI Tennessee is a grassroots, self-help organization dedicated to improving quality of life for individuals with mental illness, their families and communities. Our mission is accomplished through mutual support, education and advocacy. 

Visits, Phone calls, Emails, Letters needed NOW!

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on May 4th. The AHCA would leave millions of Americans without mental health coverage, cut billions in Medicaid funding and end insurance protections.

Senate leadership and a small group of Senators are drafting their version of the AHCA. We are deeply concerned that the Senate is actively considering permanent changes to Medicaid financing that would drastically slash funding for services, including mental health care.

Tennessee is a Key State!

Senator Alexander plays a key role in negotiations that will determine the future of mental health coverage, and Senator Corker is very influential. Governor Haslam is in a strong position to influence your Senators by explaining how restructuring Medicaid would shift financial risk onto the state and jeopardize life-saving coverage for mental health and substance use treatment.

What can you do?

 Contact your Senators with each and every change that is announced.
Email or call your Senate offices now and urge your members to do the same. Use NAMI’s talking points. (See Health Care Reform Talking Points below) to share how the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would impact people with mental health and substance use conditions. 
Phone calls and emails are needed now! NAMI advocates are urged to contact Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker immediately.
Senator Lamar Alexander 
Email through his website
Phone: (202) 224-4944  Washington Office
Senator Bob Corker 
Email through his website
Phone:  (202)  224-3344 Washington Office

Health Care Reform Talking Points

May 26, 2017

(Use these talking points with your U.S. Senators)

      ·    The House bill strips over $800 billion from Medicaid in the next 10 years, which
          will cause critical mental health services to be slashed.
  • The bill terminates Medicaid expansion-a lifeline for single adults with mental illness who fall through the cracks. 1 in 3 people covered by Medicaid expansion lives with a mental health or substance use condition.
  • 23 million will lose insurance for mental health care, pushing people with mental illness to emergency rooms, jails and the streets.
  •  The House bill allows states to let health plans to 
Drop coverage of mental health and substance use (one of the essential health benefits).

     Charge people higher premiums if they have a pre-existing condition, like depression or anxiety.

     Create high-risk pools, which are another way of charging people with mental illness more money and providing less coverage.

            Plans could put yearly and lifetime limits on mental health coverage-even for people who get insurance through their job. Yearly and lifetime limits can lead to medical debt, bankruptcy and even avoidable death.

  •       Congress should improve mental health coverage, not make it worse.
  •         Cutting coverage will simply keep people from getting the treatment they need       and shift costs to hospitals and other services       


Angela Kimball 
National Director
Advocacy & Public Policy
More Information and Talking Points

New CBO Score on AHCA Confirms Devastating Losses to Mental Health System

ARLINGTON, Va., May 25, 2017 – Today, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) noted that the newly released Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score confirms devastating losses to mental health care in the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA).

“Under the American Health Care Act, it is estimated that 23 million Americans will lose coverage for mental health care by 2026, including 14 million who will no longer be covered by Medicaid,” said Mary Giliberti, CEO of NAMI. “This will force people with mental illness out of work, onto the streets, and in our jails and emergency rooms. All this will do is shift costs and overwhelm local communities, emergency rooms and law enforcement.”

According to the CBO report, the AHCA will slash $834 billion from Medicaid over ten years. “Medicaid is the cornerstone of the public mental health system. Cuts of this magnitude will deplete mental health services and jeopardize care for people with the most severe mental health conditions,” said Giliberti.

The CBO also makes it clear that premiums for health insurance will drop for younger, healthier people because older people and people with chronic conditions, like mental illness, will be forced to carry the burden and be charged much more for coverage. In addition, states will be able to allow health plans to no longer cover mental health treatment.

“People shouldn’t be charged more because they have a mental health condition and it’s outrageous that mental health coverage could be optional. No one would ever consider making coverage for diabetes or heart disease optional,” said Giliberti, “Mental illness does not discriminate by political party and it’s an issue that has strong bipartisan support. This CBO score makes it clearer than ever that the Senate should reject the AHCA and work to improve, not dismantle, our nation’s mental health system.”

 Lauren Gleason
 Director, Public Relations & Media
 Communications & Public Affairs 
CLICK HERE to get caught up on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) 

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May 30-June 1
Johnson Mental Health
420 Bell Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37405 
 Pre-registration Required
For more information or to register for an upcoming class, contact
Kathy Rogers at 615-269-7751 or 
What is Mental Health Parity and Why is it Important?
Mental health parity means mental illness and substance use conditions must receive the same insurance coverage as physical illness. So if your plan offers unlimited doctor visits for a chronic condition like diabetes, then it must also offer unlimited visits for a mental health condition such as PTSD or anxiety.
Without Mental Health Parity, you are not getting the full range of benefits to which you are entitled.
What is the Tennessee Parity Project?
The Tennessee Parity Project is a coalition to promote state-wide public education on mental health parity. TPP engages in grassroots awareness and compliance education, as well as supporting legislative education and action on the issue.
For more information contact Bonnie Hannah at or 800-467-3589 
Thank You to Our Platinum Level Advocacy Support Sponsor
 NAMI Tennessee Helpline
(800) 467-3589


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NAMI Tennessee is a grass roots, non-profit self-help organization made up of people with mental illness, their families and community members. We are dedicated to improving quality of life for people with mental illness and their families through support, education and advocacy.