The need for new and improved policies to help improve the lives of those impacted by mental health conditions has never been greater. Here are steps you can take to be a mental health advocate.

Learn Why We Need Better Mental Health Policies

We need new and improved policies to help individuals, families and our communities.

 

Support National Policies Endorsed by NAMI National

Take Action: Urge Congress to Help Grow the Mental Health Workforce. Across the country, more people than ever are seeking mental health care, yet there is an extreme shortage of mental health providers to meet the demand. We need the Mental Health Professionals Workforce Shortage Loan Repayment Act. Sign NAMI’s petition.

Take Action: Tell Congress to Support Mental Health Research. Imagine if cancer, heart disease or diabetes was diagnosed just by using a short list of questions to assess symptoms. Due to the complexity of the brain and lack of strong research, this is how people are currently diagnosed with mental health conditions. This results in many mistakes in diagnosis and ineffective treatment. Sign NAMI’s petition.

Take Action: Support the Reentry Act. The Reentry Act is bipartisan-supported legislation that would provide Medicaid coverage for health care, including substance use and mental health treatment, for people who are incarcerated starting 30 days before their release. That means people would better be able to connect to and access community mental health services. Sign NAMI’s petition here. 

Take Acton: Improve Crisis Response. It has been one year since the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline launched to provide help to people in a mental health, substance use, or suicide crisis. 988 is already saving lives and making an impact in our communities, but there’s more work to be done. Recently, Congress reintroduced legislation that will continue to expand 988 services to help people get the crisis care they need. Sign NAMI’s petition here. 

More: Stay informed of NAMI’s national policy priorities: https://nami.quorum.us/action_center/

Support Local Legislation and Follow Actions By Your Local Leaders

Vote YES for Prop 1: In March 2024, Californians will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 1, a critical measure that will modernize our state’s behavioral health system and provide funding for services and resources to those living with the most severe mental illnesses. Proposition 1 is a meaningful and much-needed investment in mental health that will reform and strengthen the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), providing funding for services and resources to those living with the most severe mental illness, while also significantly increasing treatment beds, providing much-needed resources for mental health care. Find out more about Prop 1 here.

Stay Informed: 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.

Find your California State Senator here 

Find your Los Angeles representative.

Learn to Be An Advocate

NAMI California’s Advocacy Toolkit includes guidance on how to be mental health advocate.

 

Vote and Help Get Out the Vote

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!

 

Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk