Dec 16, 2020

NAMI released the following statement from Daniel H. Gillison Jr, CEO:

During this time of isolation, uncertainty and grief, there is a need for collective action to advance mental health and substance use disorder care in the United States. NAMI is proud to join the leaders of 13 partner organizations (listed below) working together to chart a new course for mental health in our country.

As the nation struggles to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to reduce barriers and increase access to services that help people build better lives. Even before COVID-19, we were struggling with a fragmented and overwhelmed system of care. The coalition represents some of the most vulnerable and diverse populations affected by disparities in the mental health care system, and we’ve come together to identify and amplify our priorities in a unified vision.

We hope that by collaborating toward a common goal through shared resources and skills, we can improve outcomes, shift perceptions around mental health care with a focus on early intervention, access to care and creating a path to recovery. To achieve this, we will need a concerted effort to improve the factors that impact health, such as housing, transportation and employment. We need a collective understanding that you can’t have health without mental health. We need a mental health care system that ensures people receive the services and support they need, when and where they need them.

To achieve this, we must work with state and local governments to institute policies, programs and standards that value the critical importance of mental health. We must address racism and discrimination that creates systematic inequities in care and unacceptable disparities. We must invest in comprehensive system solutions that integrate and work to make health and well-being realities for all.

Read More: A Unified Vision for Transforming Mental Health and Substance Use Care and the Star-Ledger Op Ed, Healing the Soul of America Starts with Our Nation’s Mental Health.

Partner Organizations: American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, The Kennedy Forum, Massachusetts Association of Mental Health, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Association for Behavioral Healthcare, National Council for Behavioral Health, One Mind, Peg’s Foundation, Steinberg Institute, Treatment Advocacy Center, and Well Being Trust.

Learn more about the Mental Health Leadership Coalition.

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).