Tools for Leaders
Media Tool Kit
With state mental health budgets in peril, working with the media to express the need for mental health services is more important than ever.
Elected officials pay attention to what they read or hear in the media--and so does the general public. Media "impressions" around mental health issues help move public opinion and public policy, including budgets.
Use our new Media Relations Tool Kit and discover the many ways you can do your part to strengthen mental health care. NAMI's Media Tool Kit is tailored for NAMI leaders, but we welcome use by all who share our cause.
Included in the NAMI State Advocacy 2010 Media Relations Tool Kit:
- One in four adults experiences a mental disorder in any given year. One in seventeen adults has a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.
- One in 10 children has a mental health condition that causes significant impairment.
- Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, three-quarters by age 24.
- Despite effective treatment, there are long delays--an average of 10 years--from the onset of mental illness to treatment.
- Racial and ethnic communities are less likely to receive needed mental health care and, when they do receive treatment, more likely to receive poorer quality of care.
- Mental illnesses are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada for ages 15-44.
- Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for America's youth ages 15-24.
- Overall, we lose one life to suicide every 15.8 minutes. The vast majority have an undiagnosed or untreated mental illness.
- About 20 - 25 percent of jail and prison inmates and youth involved with juvenile justice have a serious mental illness.
- Twenty-six percent of homeless persons have a severe mental illness--over four times the rate of the general population.
- An estimated 131,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. 45 percent of these veterans live with mental illness.
- For people living with serious mental illnesses, life expectancy is 25 years less than that of other Americans.
- People with schizophrenia die from heart disease, diabetes and other medical causes at a rate two or three times greater than the rest of the population.
Grassroots Advocacy Tools
Advocacy Training Tools
Two versions of NAMI's Mini-Smarts training help advocates share personal stories that deliver a clear and compelling message.
Telling Your Story
Choice at Risk: Restricting Access to Medications
The best ideas often come from fellow grassroots leaders. Explore our Peer Share materials from members of NAMI's State Advocacy 2010 Advisory Group and feel free to adapt for your state. (more)
Advocacy Checklists for Leaders
Our advocacy checklists offer step-by-step suggestions for pre-session, session and post-session activities to assist in developing relationships, influencing budgets, cultivating the media and engaging the grassroots.