Reasons to Attend NAMI’s Hill Day

MAY. 24, 2017

By Happy Carlock


One in five adults experiences a mental health condition. That’s about 45 million Americans. Meanwhile, Congress is proposing legislation that would roll back mental health parity for many health insurance plans and drastically reduce Medicaid services—a move that would likely affect all 45 million.

On June 29, NAMI advocates from across the country will brave the D.C. summer heat to meet with offices on Capitol Hill and advocate for mental health services and supports as part of the 2017 NAMI National Convention. Nearly 1,000 people have registered for Hill Day, but we still have spots available and we want you to fill one.

We need an army of advocates to meet with Congressional offices and educate them about how they can improve the lives of their constituents with mental illness. Here are a few reasons why you should join us:

Be Part of History

Advocating on legislation is one of the most impactful and exciting ways to take part in the political process. This is your opportunity to walk the halls of Congress and get an up-close view of democracy. Now more than ever, members of Congress are gaining a better understanding of mental health and substance abuse issues. Keep the momentum going by meeting with your legislator and making NAMI’s voice stronger.

Hear from our Champions

Before you head to the Hill, you’ll have the chance to listen to two mental health champions: Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). Join our legislative plenary on Thursday morning, where these key players in the 21st Century Cures Act will rally everyone to take NAMI’s message to Congress. The senators will discuss what needs to be done to improve our nation’s mental health and criminal justice systems, as well as the important role that advocates play.

Become an Expert on the Issues

Speaking to your elected officials may sound intimidating. That’s why we’ll give you an overview of a typical meeting with a legislator and provide background on the issues and talking points. Come to NAMI’s policy team briefing to get the latest information on Congress and NAMI’s policy priorities. We’ll teach you how to effectively share your story and make an ask of Congress members.

Share Your Story

Everybody has a story, but not everybody gets the opportunity to share their story with a member of Congress. NAMI’s Hill Day is our opportunity to stand together and speak up about mental health. Together, we can remind Congress that mental illness affects everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or age. We can remind them that without mental health care, Americans pay a high price in unemployment, homelessness and criminalization. As NAMI members, we know that treatment works and recovery is possible. Let’s make sure Congress knows as well.

If we have you convinced, register for the NAMI Convention; your last chance to save on registration expires May 31. Help us reach our Hill Day goal of visiting all 100 Senate offices and 435 House offices. Each one of us has the power to influence policymakers—this is your chance.


Happy Carlock is coordinator of advocacy & public policy at NAMI.


JUN, 04, 2017 12:46:25 PM
Mary holt
I have a story to tell ,I survived now I want to lead others to the path of life and change ,I want to heal others pain with my story.

MAY, 31, 2017 07:07:18 PM
Lucas Molle
If we the people can stand together for mental health, think of what we can accomplish!

MAY, 24, 2017 09:00:39 PM
I just heard about NAMI. It's a relief to know about a support group for mental illness. We have been going this process alone with a schizophrenic son for 14 years now alone.

MAY, 24, 2017 07:37:53 PM
Billy Gibson
If 20% of Americans suffer with mental illness, shouldn't screening proceedures be supported by healthcare regulations? Your insurance provider wants males over the age of 40 to be screened for prostate cancer with a similar rate of diagnosis. Furthermore, if mental health issues are so prevalent, shouldn't our basic education system touch on the subject? Eh, were not going to have abnormal psyche as a highschool class but perhaps we could get our law enforcement agents some training in the matter. But realisticly there is no practical means to promote such a thing. If there is going to be any real change in the way our society deals with mental health, it will need to be attatched to healthcare legislation somehow, we have only recently started to regulate health insurance provisions, now would be the time to make proposals related to those regulations. Maybe the senators concerning themselves with mental health will write a few essays and something will come from it. Is there a forum around this website where people smarter than myself can discuss such ideas?

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