Policy Platform

The Public Policy Platform articulates where NAMI stands on issues related to its goal of helping individuals and families affected by mental illness build better lives.

NAMI also drafts resolutions on a number of topics. Read our full Resolution on Non-Discrimination.


Download the NAMI Public Policy Platform or use the links below to view it online. 

Purpose of the Public Policy Platform
The public policy platform provides direction and guidance on policy issues affecting people living with a mental illness to the NAMI Board, NAMI State Organizations and Affiliates, and NAMI staff and helps to inform the general public.

Language in the Public Policy Platform
The language respects the integrity and the individuality of the people affected by mental illnesses. NAMI documents and NAMI co-authored documents use language that puts people first.

Stigma and Discrimination
NAMI condemns acts of stigma and discrimination toward people living with mental illness, whether by intent, ignorance or insensitivity.

1. Identity and Mission
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness, especially those with serious mental illness.

2. Priority and Special Population
NAMI's priority populations are children, youth and adults with serious mental illnesses who need services and support, often throughout their lives.

3. Treatment
NAMI firmly believes that individuals with mental illness should have access to clinically appropriate medications, evidence-based services and treatment, including psychotherapy, that are provided in a person-centered approach.

4. Services and Supports for Children, Adolescents, Young Adults and Families
A comprehensive array of treatment, services and supports that address prevention, early intervention, recovery and support should be available to children, adolescents and young adults living with mental illnesses and their families.

5. Services and Supports for Adults
NAMI believes appropriate treatment, favorable outcomes and recovery are most likely to occur when comprehensive treatments and services are provided in an atmosphere of respect, acceptance and hope.

6. Financing of Treatment and Services
NAMI supports health care for all persons with mental illnesses that is affordable and nondiscriminatory and includes coverage for the most effective and appropriate treatment.

7. Research
Neuroscience research, behavioral research, pharmaceutical research, clinical research and service system research are some initiatives supported by NAMI.

8. Quality Monitoring, Accountability and Accreditation
NAMI recommends significant and meaningful consumer and family representation on all public and private governing boards of organizations that make decisions or recommendations affecting the lives of persons with serious mental illnesses.

9. Legal Issues
NAMI believes that every person with a serious mental illness is entitled to the same level of service afforded other physical illnesses.

10. Criminal Justice and Forensic Issues
Mental health systems are ultimately responsibile for treating all people with severe mental illness. It is never appropriate to allow the care of such persons to be shifted to the criminal justice system.