Public policies can make a difference in the lives of people living with mental health conditions. Changes in public policies across a spectrum of service areas–health, housing, justice, social services, etc.–can dramatically impact life outcomes for persons in mental health recovery–for better or for worse.
A primary goal of the advocacy efforts of NAMI NC is to provide persons living with mental illness, their families, peers, and advocates with the information they need to become effective advocates for better mental health services and public policies. Our advocacy efforts have led to many victories including:
- Bringing to the forefront best practices and evidence-based programs that have proven effective in improving health and life outcomes for persons with mental illness.
- Securing funding to support mental health programs and services in NC.
- Protecting access to treatments and services within a complex and ever-changing behavioral health system.
- Pushing North Carolina towards mental health parity to ensure that mental illness is treated equally to physical illness in most insurance plans.
Each year, NAMI North Carolina surveys its membership for guidance on creating its public policy and advocacy priorities. The NAMI North Carolina Public Policy Advisory Committee, comprised of NAMI North Carolina members, synthesize and create the priorities, which are then approved by the NAMI North Carolina Board of Directors. We are mindful that influencing lawmakers to create positive policy changes that will change our state’s behavioral health system for the better is a long-game. With improved system change in mind, NAMI NC has invested time and some of our best thinking into developing a 2018-2020 public policy platform to help guide our public policy and advocacy efforts. Learn more about our 2018-2022 Public Policy Platform.
To prepare for the 2019 NC Legislative session, NAMI NC sponsored a legislative policy and advocacy listening tour from November, 2018 through January 2019. The listening tour comprised of five listening sessions around the state that hosted by the following NAMI affiliates: NAMI Wake, NAMI Wilmington, NAMI Cumberland, Harnett and Lee Counties, NAMI South Mountains, and NAMI NW Piedmont. We also collected feedback from NAMI NC members and affiliates through an online survey. The survey can be accessed here and will remain live through the end of April 2019. Findings from our members survey will be released soon and made available through on this website under the Advocacy page.