Access to Treatment

Secure and consistent access to effective treatment options is crucial for people with mental illness. Without treatment, individuals may struggle considerably, their conditions may worsen and they may even become a danger to themselves or others. Therefore treatment should be easy to find, affordable and quickly available.

Regulations that make it more difficult for people to get treatments that they medically require can have dramatic negative consequences. An inability to get prescribed medication or schedule an appointment in a timely manner can lead to fatal consequences in some cases.

Where NAMI Stands

People with mental health conditions deserve access to all treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), and prescribed to them by a qualified health professional. Treatments include medication, evidence based services and supports.

NAMI opposes forcing anyone to switch medication because of cost rather than ineffectiveness.

Individuals with mental illness should have the right to choose a provider or to switch providers to meet their specific needs.

NAMI believes that Medicare Part D must provide full access to psychiatric medications. NAMI also supports increased funding for NIMH research on psychiatric medication treatments for mental health conditions.

Read NAMI's Public Policy Platform for more information on our position on access to treatment.

What NAMI Is Doing

NAMI monitors and advocates regularly to help ensure access to an array of treatments and services. NAMI advocates for full coverage of psychotic medications in Medicaid, Medicare, the Veterans Health Administration and private insurance on both the federal and state level.

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