Public Policy & Advocacy
At NAMI Connecticut, we are continuously working to improve public policy for people with mental health challenges in Connecticut. Our Public Policy Agenda includes many issues that aim to increase access to services and supports, and to repair and restore the mental health service system in our state.
Click the following links for FACT SHEETS on our Legislative Priorities:
- Civil Rights and Advance Self-Determination Fact Sheet
- Community Services and Supports Fact Sheet
- Education, Employment and Wellness Fact Sheet
- Services for Children and Youth Fact Sheet
- Supportive Housing Fact Sheet
We want to acknowledge and thank all contributors to the fact sheets, particularly the Supportive Housing fact sheet – courtesy of the Reaching Home Campaign/Partnership for Strong Communities.
We Need Your Voices!
It’s officially budget season and a very challenging one due to the real tight fiscal climate. The Governor’s proposed budget includes deep cuts to human and social services, including mental health and substance use services, supports and housing. We won’t be able to prevent all cuts from happening, but we nevertheless need to be HEARD LOUDLY on how important mental health services are and support legislators in understanding clearly of what those proposed cuts would mean to REAL people/You!
What You Can Do
You can tell legislators on the Appropriations (budget writing) committee how crucial core services like mental health services, supports and housing are. You can do so by submitting written testimony (to APPtestimony@cga.ct.gov) or testifying in person.
• Appropriations Public Hearing on the Departments of Social Services (DSS) and Children and Families (DCF) – Thursday 2/11, starting at 4pm
• Appropriations Public Hearing on the Departments of Mental Health and AddictionServices (DMHAS) and Public Health – Thursday 2/18, starting at 4pm
You can use this TESTIMONY TEMPLATE to start your testimony. Please also note that testimony is limited to 3 minutes per person.
You can use these TALKING POINTS and bring them to life by including your personal story and experience. Legislators want to understand what the impact is on you, your loved one or someone you know, if the proposed cuts were to go through, or on the flipside, what positive things services, supports and housing have done for you or your loved one and how that is needed for people in our communities.
Additional resource: to find your personal legislators use THIS LINK.
We’re here to support you! Please let us know if you are planning on testifying in person or submitting testimony. We can also help to sign you up if you’ll be testifying in person at the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Hartford. You will need to send us your testimony at the latest the day before the hearing, so Wednesday 2/10 for DSS and DCF and 2/17 for DMHAS and DPH.
Thank you for having your voices heard and educating our policy makers on what proposed cuts would do for constituents in their communities!
NAMI Connecticut’s Public Policy Program’s Mission is to “Advocate for improved services, more humane treatment, and an end to stigma and economic and social discrimination.” Our goal is to support members to engage in advocacy activities at the legislature, in the community, and from their homes.
NAMI Connecticut Public Policy Program Components:
- Provide outreach, trainings, and education to the community and policymakers
- Monitor and act on state and local government issues relevant to the mental health community
- Mobilize NAMI Connecticut members to testify or contact policymakers on behalf of our legislative priorities
- Strategically work with the media to further our legislative agenda
- Develop and build relationships with community partners and stakeholders to work on joint initiatives
NAMI Connecticut’s Public Policy Committee consists of members from around the state who meet monthly to build consensus on legislative and policy issues, provide feedback, assist in developing the legislative agenda, and act as committee liaisons in their communities.
For more information on advocacy, contact:
Daniela Giordano, MSW Public Policy Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Receive action alerts when legislation is pending or to be informed of other important legislative activities and events.
Check out our Advocacy Toolkit
NAMI Connecticut invites NAMI members to join the Public Policy Committee to become informed on critical issues affecting people with serious mental illnesses and their families and to help craft positions on these issues. The Committee serves as the “brain trust” for the NAMI Connecticut Board for our legislative agenda. Call the NAMI Connecticut office to sign-on or e-mail Daniela Giordano at email@example.com.
Mental Health Parity
Daniela Giordano, Policy Director for Adults at NAMI-Connecticut (a CT Health
grantee), provides an overview of the current state of Mental Health Parity in
Connecticut, in a GUEST BLOG post on the CT Health Foundation website.
Check it out here: http://www.cthealth.org/blog/treat-us-equally-mental-health-parity
Additional Questions? Contact NAMI Connecticut