Stay Informed. Take action.
NAMI Michigan encourages everyone affected by mental illness to stay informed about current policies related to mental health at both the national and state level. We also promote advocacy in many areas, such as education, providing support, and fighting stigma. NAMI advocates can make a difference by helping to change and improve the system for those affected by mental illnesses. NAMI has a board member assigned to public policy and advocacy.
NAMI Michigan also encourages everyone to become informed and participate in this year’s state election. Read the following for more information about the 2018 election:
There are some important questions to ask in the process of registering to vote.
- The first is: Am I eligible to vote?
- The next question would be: How do I register?
- Or: Am I already registered?
- Or: Would an absentee ballot be best for me?
- Voting Registration Deadline for State Primary: July 9th, 2018
- State Primary: August 7th, 2018
- Voting Registration Deadline for State General Election: October 9th, 2018
- State General Primary: November 6th, 2018
To learn more about the public policy issues that affect persons coping with mental health illnesses and their loved ones, and how NAMI is providing a strong voice on these issues, visit the following sites:
- Impending federal legislation on healthcare will have profound implications for mental illness care, not only here in Michigan, but across the nation. Here are links to the bills under discussion in the Congress:
- Michigan’s government is currently addressing mental health policy within the context of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Section 298 Initiative, a part of the Public Act 268 of 2016. As part of this initiative, a work group was established to develop recommendations “regarding the most effective financing model and policies for behavioral health services in order to improve the coordination of behavioral and physical health services for individuals with mental illnesses, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders.” For those interested in submitting a proposal to the Section 298 Working Group, a Section 298 Model Proposal Template is available.
- NAMI has prepared and collected a number of policy briefs responding to the various bills under consideration, which we encourage you to review using the links provided here:
- The American Health Care Act NAMI Talking Points Revised March 14, 2017
- NAMI Deeply Disappointed in House Passage of American Health Care Act (AHCA)
- Military Service Members and Veteran’s Mental Health
- Health Reform and Mental Illness
- Early Intervention for Psychosis
- Mental Health and Caregiver Support:
- FY 2018 Funding for Mental Health
- Decriminalizing Mental Health
- Mental Health Research and Innovation
- FAQS about mental health and substance use disorder parity implementation and the 21st Century Cures Act Part 38
- Ten Things to Know About Medicaid’s Role for Children with Behavioral Health Needs | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
Please read NAMI’s report: State Mental Health Legislation 2015: Trends, Themes and Effective Practices for more information on what our state is doing to support mental illness. This report highlights the good and bad news in states’ approaches to mental health.
- National Public Policy Issues – Find out more about national public policy issues affecting people with mental illnesses at the national NAMI site.
- Family Education and Support – Educational programs for families are a fundamental part of treatment and well-being.
- Jailing People with Mental Illness - Helping people get out of jail and into treatment is a top priority for NAMI.
- Medicaid – Medicaid is the single most important financing source of mental health services in the U.S.
- Medicaid Expansion – Not every state has opted to expand Medicaid leaving many people living with mental illness without access to affordable health insurance.
- Mental Health in Schools – Schools are in a key position to identify the early signs of mental health conditions and to link students with support.
- Mental Health Screening – Mental health screening is essential to early identification and intervention of youth living with mental health conditions.
- Parity for Mental Health Coverage – arity for mental health coverage helps ensure that people get the treatment they need from their health insurance.
- Violence and Gun Reporting Laws – Acts of violence by people with mental illness are usually the result of lack of needed mental health services.
Michigan Government Links: Connects you to your state government legislature where you will be able to find your Michigan representatives in the House and Senate and in addition to bills that have been introduced and bills that are being introduced.
How can you advocate for mental illness?
- Become a member of an advocacy group like NAMI.
- Volunteer some of your time
- Keep educated and up to date on mental illness
- Make donations to advocacy groups like NAMI.
- Participate in mental illness events such as NAMI Walks Detroit and NAMI Walks Grand Rapids.
- Write your legislator and tell him/her how you feel about mental health issues coming before the legislature.