By Jessica W. Hart
Congress is on break this week, which means Senators and Representatives are back home—but not on vacation. It’s time to remind them that one in five of the constituents they’ll encounter back home lives with a mental health condition.
Last year, Congress passed important mental health reforms to address the mental health crisis in our nation. But these reforms are in jeopardy if coverage is cut, which is a very real threat right now.
Medicaid also provides vital mental health coverage, but Congress is calling for changes to the Medicaid program to provide more “flexibility” that would result in deep reductions in funding over the next few years.
When members of Congress are back in town, the most effective way to make your voice heard is to go your local town hall meetings and speak up. Town hall meetings are where elected official can listen and respond to questions and concerns in a public forum. As a member of the mental health movement, this is where you can exercise your right as a citizen to speak with your representatives about the importance of quality, affordable mental health coverage. Let your elected officials know that you are paying attention to what is happening with mental health coverage in Washington, D.C.
First, find your members of Congress by going here for the House and here for the Senate. Then, go to your senators’ and representative’s websites to find out when their next town hall meeting is being held. Check under “events" or “contact.” If you can’t find a town hall meeting, email or call their offices and ask for information directly.
Your story is powerful. Hearing from you about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Medicaid has positively impacted your life can help shape the conversation around health coverage in America. Telling your story in a few sentences is easy. Here’s how:
If you can't make it to a town hall meeting or your senators and representative aren’t holding a public event, make your voice heard by contacting your senators and representative now.
We’re always accepting submissions to the NAMI Blog! We feature the latest research, stories of recovery, ways to end stigma and strategies for living well with mental illness. Most importantly: We feature your voices.
Check out our Submission Guidelines for more information.
Call the NAMI Helpline at
In a crisis,
Find Your Local NAMI