Mental Health Action Day: How to Be an Advocate Today and Every Day

Join us in advocating for change on Mental Health Action Day!

In partnership with more than 1600 nonprofits, government agencies, cultural leaders, and others, we are proud to be a partner in Mental Health Action Day on Thursday, May 19. On this day, we encourage and empower our members and supporters to take the next step for #MentalHealthAction. Visit to learn more and join our effort to shift from awareness to action on mental health.

The need for new and improved policies to help improve those impacted by mental health conditions has never been greater. The good news: we can make a difference by sharing our stories to help others understand the need for better mental health services; supporting good legislation and policies at the local, state and national levels; and electing candidates committed to improving mental health care for all.

If you’re in LA May 19, visit us at Virginia Ave Park (2200 Virginia Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404), where we will have a resource booth set up from 10 am-2pm PT.

This NAMI video explains more about the need for mental health advocacy. Below the video, find actions you can take to be a mental health advocate today!

Action: Support Youth Mental Health

Let’s make sure children and youth receive the mental health services they need to thrive.

Our country is facing a youth mental health crisis with too few children receiving the services they need — and it’s taking a toll on children and families. We need bipartisan, common-sense solutions to meet youth where they are. Integrating mental health services into pediatric care settings is an important step we can take to help youth access mental health support. One such solution: the Supporting Children’s Mental Health Care Access Act (H.R. 7076) to expand access to mental health care for our kids. 

Sign NAMI’s petition to urge your member of Congress and ask them to support the Supporting Children’s Mental Health Care Access Act.

Action: Support Better Mental Health Coverage

Let’s make sure community members impacted by mental health conditions have medical insurance that covers necessary treatment.

The Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 828/H.R. 432) and the Promoting Effective and Empowering Recovery Services in Medicare (PEERS) Act (S. 2144/H.R. 2767) would allow people covered by Medicare to get help from marriage and family therapists, licensed mental health counselors, or peer support specialists. Millions of people are covered by Medicare, including people over the age of 65 and certain younger individuals with disabilities like mental health conditions. They need access to a sufficient mental health workforce.

These bills would increase the Medicare workforce by over 225,000 mental health providers – helping more people access services in their community. 

Sign NAMI’s petition to urge your members of Congress to support the Mental Health Access Improvement Act and the PEERS Act.

Action: Support 988 Implementation

Let’s make sure that community members facing a mental health crisis get the care they need when they call 988, the new three-digit number for people who experience a suicidal, substance use or mental health crisis.

We are two months away from the nationwide availability of 988. To help people in crisis in your community, we need to reimagine our crisis response system. Fortunately, the 988 Implementation Act, an important, bipartisan legislative package, would improve mental health crisis services across the country ahead of the July rollout of 988 and we need your help to make it a reality. We need:

  • Calls to 988 answered by a local crisis call center with staff who are well-trained and experienced in responding to a wide range of mental health, substance use and suicidal crises
  • A mobile crisis team staffed by mental health professionals – including peers with lived experience – provide an in-person response instead of law enforcement
  • Crisis stabilization programs available to provide short-term observation and stabilization services, for less than 24 hours and will include peer supports

Sign NAMI’s petition to urge your member of Congress to co-sponsor the 988 Implementation Act.

Vote in Every Election

Let’s all get out and vote in every election!

Every election provides us with an opportunity to vote for leaders and laws to improve mental health services for individuals, families and communities. Commit to registering to vote in each election, make a voting plan, and encourage your friends, family and co-workers to vote as well! Check your status or register to vote in Los Angeles here: Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk

Stay Informed

Find out NAMI California’s stand on 2022 state legislation.

Sign up for email updates from your local representatives, and follow them on social media to stay updated on their policy decisions and priorities — and let them know what’s important to you! Find your Congressional representative here and find your California State Senator here.

Continue to Speak Up and Help Us End Stigma

Answer our Community Voices survey questions; our question for Mental Health Awareness Month: What would you say to raise mental health awareness and help eradicate stigma? What would you say to those who are not impacted to help them understand the importance of opening up about mental health and supporting those living with mental health conditions?

Also: submit your story for consideration and amplify our #FreeYourMe campaign.