Advocacy is Key To Our Legislative Successes
Your participation through words and actions matter!
Story telling about individuals/family members/caregivers impacted by behavioral health challenges is an effective advocacy tool. Most legislators need to be educated about behavioral health issues and as constituents, your first person stories carry a lot of weight. For new advocates, we will help you write your story and communicate it to legislators (in person, by phone or email) and write testimony for public hearings.
NAMI Connecticut's Advocacy & Policy
What We Do
- Provide behavioral health education, outreach, and policy expertise to the community and policymakers
- Monitor and act on state and local government issues relevant to the mental health community in Connecticut, including serving on legislative committees and workgroups
- Interface with NAMI national to stay abreast of federal legislation relevant to our advocacy and policy activities, and work together to promote behavioral health advocacy at the state level
- During the legislative session, we provide testimony at public hearings on bills impacting behavioral health of children and adults in the state; meet with stakeholders, legislators and other policy makers in connection with our support or opposition to specific legislation; and conduct advocacy activities related to our legislative priorities
- Mobilize NAMI Connecticut members to testify or contact policymakers to move forward our legislative priorities Work strategically with legislators, our lobbyist, other policy makers, and the media to further our legislative agenda
- Develop and build relationships with community partners and stakeholders and work with them on joint initiatives and advocacy efforts
Alliance for Children’s Mental Health (ACMH). ACMH, which meets monthly, is NAMI Connecticut’s children’s policy arm. It is the only collective advocacy organization in the state promoting smart mental health policies to improve children’s mental health across overlapping child serving systems such as juvenile justice, education, and child welfare. ACMH’s member participants represent a wide spectrum of stakeholders in children’s mental health and child serving systems. Members include educators, advocacy organizations, legal aid organizations, parents, grandparents, young adults, psychiatrists and mental health clinicians, providers, state oversight groups, individual and group child advocates, and representatives of faith groups. For more information about ACMH, go to acmhct.org.
NAMI Connecticut’s Public Policy Committee. This committee consists of members from around the state who meet monthly to keep up to date on policy issues, help inform our legislative agenda, and bring back information to their affiliates and communities. The monthly meetings are held either in Hartford or at affiliate locations around the state. The committee seeks to increase member interest in advocacy/policy, and support members as they engage in advocacy activities at the legislature and in their communities.
Member and Supporter Advocacy
How We Can Help
- Provide information regarding your legislators and other elected officials; quick link cga.ct.gov
- Attend meetings with state or local officials to provide support as requested
- Provide background information on policy issues, such as legislative agenda booklets and fact sheets
- Speak at affiliate meetings or other events about mental health advocacy issues
- Alert you to trainings, advocacy opportunities, and informational events at the Capitol and in the community
- Help build your advocacy skills including assisting with testimony or letters to the editor to express your views on important issues
NAMI Connecticut is also an active member organization of the Keep the Promise Coalition (KTP), a statewide unified group of key stakeholders (including individuals with lived experience, family members, mental health professionals and interested community members) advocating for an effective and comprehensive community mental health system that reaches across the lifespan in Connecticut.
Susan R. Kelley, JD
Director of Advocacy and Policy