POLICY & ADVOCACY
NAMI Tennessee is a statewide membership-based organization that advocates for improvements to mental health policy and to the systems of care for those affected by mental illness. We provide grassroots leaders with the tools, resources and skills necessary to take action to address mental health in our communities.
NAMI TN believes that the individuals and families most directly affected by mental health policy decisions should be leaders in creating solutions. We advocate for all those affected by mental illness in Tennessee and strategically focus on serious mental illnesses and underserved populations, particularly people who are difficult to engage in treatment, experience homelessness, or are involved in the criminal legal system.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Everyone who experiences mental illness deserves the right mental health services and supports at the right time. With those key supports in place, recovery is possible. Unfortunately, many Tennesseans who experience mental illness or mental health problems lack access to the services and supports they want and need.
The effects of our fragmented and overburdened mental health system reverberate across communities, contributing to school drop-out, job loss, homelessness, incarceration, and suicide. As rates of suicide and opioid overdose continue to climb in Tennessee, the fight for improvements in mental health services, treatment and care is more important than ever. Our advocacy efforts have led to many victories in recent years, including:
- Securing better funding for pre-arrest diversion services
- Protecting and expanding access to mental health treatments and services.
- Achieving mental health parity that ensures mental illness is treated equally to physical illness in TennCare and private insurance plans.
BECOME A LEADER IN THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT
But we still have work to do, and we need your help. Join us in advocating for mental health for all! Here are a few suggestions for how you can support our advocacy work:
- Attend NAMI TN’s Annual Day on the Hill. Join us in Nashville for our annual Grassroots Advocacy Training and Day on the Hill. For more information contact the NAMI Tennessee office or join our advocacy network
- Contact your local affiliate about volunteering. Local affiliate advocacy representatives can connect you to local and state advocacy activities.
- Join our Advocacy Network. If you sign up, you may receive communications from us asking you to write letters/emails, make phone calls, or participate in actions in support of one or more of our legislative or advocacy issues.
- NAMI Smarts for Advocacy. Contact us to learn how to participate in or host 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.
- Raise awareness during Mental Health Month, Mental Illness Awareness Week, National Minority Mental Health Month and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
- Learn more about NAMI National’s legislative and public policy priorities.
Public awareness events and activities, including Day on the Hill (DOH), Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), Vision of Hope Gala, NAMI Radio, NAMIWalks and other efforts, successfully combat stigma and encourage understanding. NAMI works with journalists and the media on a daily basis to make sure our state understands how important mental health is.
Join Our Advocacy Network
If you sign up, you may receive communications from us asking you to write letters/emails, make phone calls, or participate in actions in support of one or more of our legislative or advocacy issues. NAMI does not sell, rent or exchange email addresses to anyone for any reason.