Advocacy: A Respected Force
NAMI is recognized as the preeminent voice for the thousands living with serious mental illness. NAMI advocates have fought for policy changes that raise the bar on mental illness care and promote treatment and research on par with other illnesses. NAMI's advocacy provides a unique voice for people who live with mental illness and their families in state and federal public and private-sector policies that facilitate research, end discrimination, reduce barriers to successful life in the community and promote timely, comprehensive and effective mental health services and supports. NAMI works steadily to influence critical state policy debates as they unfold.
For more than 30 years, NAMI Prince George’s County has provided our families and individuals with the information and skills they need to advocate for better mental health services and a more responsive mental health system.
It is our belief that including the perspective of the family and the person living with mental illness is crucial to ensuring quality services, improving outcomes, and enhancing recovery. Through the advocacy efforts of our members, we work to persuade providers, government, and legislative representatives of the importance of this voice as they make funding decisions regarding programs and services supporting individuals and families living with mental illnesses.
Prince George's County Council
All legislative powers of the County are vested in the County Council. In addition, the County Council sits as the District Council on zoning and land use matters, and as the Board of Health on health policy matters.The County Council meets as a legislative body at 10:00 a.m. every Tuesday in the Council Hearing Room on the main floor of the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro.The District Council meets at 10:00 a.m. on second and fourth Mondays. The Board of Health meets as required. The Council recesses in August and December. All County Council sessions are open to the public, and citizens are encouraged to attend.
Go to http://pgccouncil.us/148/Council-Chair for more information on Council Members and activities.
Communicate With Elected Officials
NAMI members are encouraged to communicate with their elected officials and make an impact on the legislative process. We all have a vision for what the mental health system should be. The only way to realize that vision is to build a movement for change. We must work together to make a better mental health system.
Statistics indicate that 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 10 children and adolescents have a diagnosable mental illness during any given year. Mental illnesses may cause disruptions in a person’s job, school and family life. Our mental health system is the source for treatment and services for persons with mental health conditions. However, the current system does not adequately meet the mental health needs for adults, children and adolescents. Every NAMI member knows the problems in the system and has a story to tell about how the system has not met their needs. These stories need to be told to elected officials.