b'2022 ANNUAL REPORT|NAMI TENNESSEEAdvocacy and AwarenessLEGISLATIVE ADVOCACYIn the past year, NAMI Tennessee engaged in sev- Behavioral Health Workforce Shortageeral advocacy and grassroots efforts for fundingTennesseeBudgetrecommendationsfromthe and policies that support individuals and familiesTennesseeDepartmentofMentalHealthand affected by mental illness. These efforts touchedSubstanceAbuseServices(TDMHSAS)includ-manyareasincludingcriminaljustice,schools,ed $34 million for pay increases for state-funded transportation, and medication access.mentalhealthproviders.TheDepartmentalso Here are a few examples of our legislativeproposed $10 million to recruit more people into effortsthe behavioral health field following a task force Homeless Criminalizationstudy on the subject, which included NAMI par-SB1610 by Bailey/HB0978 by Williams ticipation.This law creates an offense, punishable by a $50Wehadinternalconversationswithalliesand fine and community for solicitation or campingpartnersandurgedgrassrootadvocatestoask along a highway or exit ramp. Repeat offenderslawmakers to support this. Lawmakers approved face jail time and higher fines.a budget that included $17 million in pay increas-es.Overthesummerof2022,wewillregroup We worked with a coalition of groups to opposeand discuss the possibility of additional funding the bill. We co-authored an editorial that ran induring the 2023 legislative session.The Tennessean; visited legislators; sent out ad- 2022 Advocacy Days vocacyalertstomorethan8,000people;andWe hosted a series of online advocacy events to contacted the entire Tennessee Legislature ask- educate people on current issues around men-ing them to oppose the bill. The bill passed, un- tal health and how they can get involved at the fortunately. We are researching other options tolegislative level. The series 2022 Advocacy Daysaddress homelessness and offer solutions. Inspiration. Imagination. Action drew more than Student Mental Health Screening150 people in March 2022.SB2360 by Bowling/HB2451 by Weaver Speakers included Secretary of State Tre Hargett ThebillwouldhaveprohibitedteenstudentsandTDMHSASCommissionerMarieWilliams. fromobtainingamentalhealthscreeninginaWealsoheardfromleadersatBraverAngels, school setting without the permission of parentswho advised us on how to rise above the political or guardians. We created a policy paper and sentfray. Our series included educational webinars on an advocacy alert urging people to contact Housethe new 988 crisis line; legislation around school committeememberstovoteNOonthisissue.mental health; and grassroots training.We also engaged other organizations, including school counselors and psychologists, in a collabo-rative effort to defeat the bill. 2022ADVOCACYDue to the overwhelming opposition that we ex- SERIESpressed to lawmakers and legislative leadership, the bill died in the House committee when there was no second motion for its introduction. This was a huge victory.INSPIRATION. IMAGINATION. ACTION.'