What's At Stake

How the Affordable Care Act helps Americans with mental illness and why it matters


One topic seems to be echoing through the halls of Congress like a broken record: health care.

Luckily for NAMI, the debate about health care means an opportunity to talk about mental health. NAMI is at the frontlines of that debate, fighting for every American’s right to quality mental health care.

Read a full outline of our efforts here.

Congress is already listening. Last week, advocates from NAMI and four other mental health and addiction organizations flooded the voicemails of Representatives and Senators on a national call-in day, urging them to protect mental health insurance safeguards and Medicaid.

While our voices are loud, the numbers around mental illness in America speak louder:

  • Mental health conditions cost the economy an estimated $193 billion dollars in lost earnings each year.
  • Mental health conditions are the number one cause of disability and workplace absenteeism.
  • Suicide is at a 30-year high. Every day, an average of 117 people die by suicide.
  • Up to 25% of people who are homeless live with a serious mental illness.
  • People with serious mental illness are jailed at nearly 4 times the rate of other individuals.

Our country has entered a new chapter of how we recognize and address mental health. From the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, to the mental health provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act, millions of Americans have gained access to quality, affordable care.

Our progress is obvious. But these reforms are in peril if the foundation of mental health coverage is not preserved. At NAMI, we pledge to build on this momentum—to keep what works and make it better.

Everyone needs access to quality health care, so everyone has a voice in this debate. Make your voice stronger by joining the NAMI fight