National Alliance on Mental Illness
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How To "Vote Mental Health"
NAMI members often ask, "How do I 'vote mental health'? What questions should I ask? How do I know where a candidate stands on issues that affect people who live with mental illness?" Try our tips to raise questions, get answers and make informed choices.
1. Know our issues. Understanding issues that affect children and adults who live with mental illness is an important first step to "voting mental health." Read NAMI's State Action Agenda (www.nami.org/election) for a concise summary of issues that make a difference.
2. Ask questions. The best way to elicit thoughtful and candid answers from
3. Stay informed. Check candidate Web sites for positions on relevant issues,
4. Educate candidates. An excellent way to learn about candidates is by providing
5. Be prepared. Anytime a pollster, political party, or campaign calls or knocks on your door, emphasize your concern for mental health care issues.
6. Spread the word. Your family, friends, and co-workers care about what you
7. Write a letter. Candidates pay close attention to letters to the editor and
8. Volunteer. NAMI members can volunteer as individuals (independent of NAMI affiliation) to work on campaigns, if they wish. People who donate time are
9. Wear your issue. Wear a "Mental Health Care Gets My Vote!" sticker on your
10. Vote. One of the most important ways you can make a difference is to exercise