NAMI’s State Mental Health Legislation Report (2020–2021)

Dec 16, 2022

Today NAMI released a new publication: the State Mental Health Legislation Report (2020-2021), which highlights and summarizes significant state mental health legislation from 2020-2021. This report can be used as a guide for mental health advocates and policymakers when looking to create comprehensive mental health policies in their states.

NAMI’s State Legislation Report analyzes standout successful legislation from the 50 states and Washington, DC. This report provides best practices from NAMI State Organization leaders who played key roles in shaping some of these policies. Although this report’s analysis is limited to 2020-2021 legislation, the policy outcomes within can be adopted by other states in 2023 and beyond.

The report’s analysis is divided into three main sections based on the topic area pillars of the NAMI 2020-2025 Strategic Plan: people should get help early, get the best possible care and get diverted from criminal justice system involvement. The report further categorizes legislation within focus areas that represent issues of importance to NAMI’s mission and that also saw significant legislative action in 2020-2021. Those issues include:

The report concludes that 2020-2021 were unique years, with recent trends on mental health in states’ policymaking accelerated by concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More details on the COVID-19 pandemic and many other issues impacting individuals with a mental health condition and their families can be found in the report.

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text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).