Advocacy Training and Education – NAMI-CT has developed a robust advocacy program, offering members and others important and timely information related to legislative issues of concern and interest to mental health stakeholders in Connecticut. As part of this program our Public Policy Director regularly sends out email “alerts” and reports in an effort to keep our members and other stakeholders apprised of current events that impact behavioral health policy and services. Our public policy arm helps to mobilize NAMI-CT members to testify on behalf of NAMI legislative priorities, and also to work with NAMI-CT as part of the Public Policy Committee.
NAMI-CT offers presentation on state legislative issues impacting people with serious mental illnesses and their families, as well as training on the state legislative process and how to become an effective advocate. The trainings are available to groups of 15 or more.
Keep The Promise Coalition – The Keep the Promise Coalition (KTP), located at the NAMI-CT office, is a statewide grassroots advocacy coalition founded in 1999 during the mental health crisis in Connecticut that followed the closure of two large state hospitals. The administration promised that monies funding those hospitals would be transferred to community services and supports; that promise has not been kept. Coalition members meet monthly and also participate during the legislative session by testifying, signing up others to testify, getting basic mental health messages into the media, and holding Candidate Forums and legislative breakfasts in their own communities.
Annually KTP offers a number of advocacy trainings, including:
ESSENTIALS OF LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY
This FREE annual training is held in October and led by Attorney Jan VanTassel and former State Representative, Doreen DelBianco. Discussed are the “essentials” of the legislative process and how to influence elected officials. The 2 day class is held in a hearing room at the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Hartford. A tour of the LOB and Capitol is included along with lunch.
These are the two basic goals of this training:
1) To Make You Comfortable with the People and the Process. You do not need to be an expert on politics, the legislative process or the budget. YOU ARE ALREADY AN EXPERT based on your experience: person in recovery, family member, friend or provider.
2) To Help You Figure Out How You Can Help. Each of us has different skills, assets or talents to contribute to advocacy -- speaking, writing, calling, supporting, or drawing. They are all part of a successful advocacy campaign.
ADVANCED LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP TRAINING
This FREE annual training usually held each December is for experienced advocates interested in knowing more details about the legislative process and playing a lead role in KTP advocacy at the LOB or on a local level. This 2 day class is held in a hearing room at the LOB in Hartford. Lunch is provided.
Keep the Promise offers these free two-day Legislative Advocacy training at the Legislative Office Building each year in October and December.
However, upon request, these trainings are available to 15 or more persons in a condensed version.
Please contact Cheri Bragg, Coordinator, if you are interested in holding a training at your office or clubhouse at 860-882-0236 or 1-800-215-3021
GOLDEN PEN MEDIA TRAINING
Participants learn ways to use the MEDIA to help get their message across & educate the public & legislators about mental health issues.
· LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
· TURNING TESTIMONY INTO LETTERS
· RADIO TALK SHOWS
· INTERVIEW SKILLS
· MEDIA EVENTS
In the late summer and early fall of election years, Keep the Promise offers training to teach community groups how to hold educational forums to inform their local legislative candidates.
In addition, participants receive current information on key mental health issues, and will learn how to build collaborations with like-minded individuals and organizations in their local area.
These trainings are available to groups of 15 or more.