We believe in making a difference in the lives of both people living with mental health conditions and the people in their lives. Our advocacy efforts have led to many victories including:

  • Securing better funding for research.
  • Protecting access to treatments and services.
  • Attaining mental health parity to ensure that mental illness is treated equally to physical illness in most insurance plans.

But, there is still more work to do. Policy change is one of major way we can make a difference in the lives of the people we love living with mental health conditions and their families.

Mental Health Care Gets My Vote
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Learn how how NAMI is providing a strong voice on these issues

Mental Health In Schools

The start of many mental health conditions most often occurs in adolescence. Half of individuals living with mental illness experience onset by the age of 14. This number jumps to 75% by the age of 24.

One in five youth live with a mental health condition, but less than half of these individuals receive needed services. Undiagnosed, untreated or inadequately treated mental health conditions can affect a student’s ability to learn, grow and develop.

Schools provide a unique opportunity to identify and treat mental health conditions by serving students where they already are. School personnel play an important role in identifying the early warning signs of an emerging mental health condition and in linking students with effective services and supports.

School personnel are in a key position to identify the early warning signs of an emerging mental health condition and to link students with effective services and supports.

Access To Treatments
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Family Education and Support

Family support and education is fundamental to the well-being of children, youth, young adults and adults who live with mental health conditions.

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Criminal Justice Issues

In a mental health crisis, people are more likely to encounter police than get medical help. As a result, 2 million people with mental illness are booked into jails each year.

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Learn More about Juvenile Justice


At work you have to weigh the advantages against the disadvantages of being open about a mental health condition.There are laws in place that protect you from discrimination and unfair practices on the job.

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Many states cover a broad array of community mental health services and supports in their Medicaid programs that are rarely, if ever, covered by private insurance.
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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) both provide needed financial assistance to many people in the United States who have mental health conditions. The two programs are run by the US Social Security Administration (SSA).

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Parity For Mental Health Coverage

Parity for mental health coverage helps ensure that people get the treatment they need from their health insurance.

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Securing Stable House

For someone with a mental health condition, the basic necessity of a stable home can be hard to come by. The lack of safe and affordable housing is one of the most powerful barriers to recovery.

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Violence and Gun Reporting Laws

Most people with mental illness are not violent. In fact, people with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence.

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National Policy Priorities

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