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NAMI Texas's role as an advocacy organization grew from the need of its members - consumers and families - to effect a positive change in the response of society, government and business to an individual with a mental illness.
We seek to promote this change by providing science based information that "severe mental illnesses" are brain disorders that can be treated and managed effectively if an individual has access to a combination of medication, supportive counseling and community support services, including education and vocational training. By educating and informing the public, employers and policy makers, a higher value will be placed on recovery and the quality of life that a person with a severe mental illness can achieve.
Contact Your RepresentativesNow is the time for action! Contact your representatives today to ensure they are working to improve the lives of people with mental illness.
View our collection of links for additional information about mental health advocacy.
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
Give a little time to make a big difference. Take a few moments right now to urge your state legislators to do right by mental health. Pass it on. More noise = bigger impact! If you're not sure who your legislators are you can click here and type in your address. You'll get a list of your US & State Legislators.
Email 1: Thursday, November 10, 2011 SAMPLE BELOW:
Subject line: Mental Health Budget – Move Back from the Edge
As a member of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness [insert your personal message].
In a nationwide report released today, NAMI research found that Texas had a modest increase of 4.3% in state mental health funding from 2009 – 2012 (www.nami.org/budgetcuts). I commend you and your colleagues for maintaining mental health funding in a very tough budget year, rolling back deep cuts proposed in the governors recommended budget. You heard the Texas Association of Counties, Texas Sheriffs Association and mental health stakeholders when they warned that cuts to our dangerously eroded mental health system risks total collapse.
But Texas has a long way to go. Our mental health system is at the bottom of the barrel, with the highest uninsured rate in the nation (26%) and the lowest per capita spending on mental health - less than a third per capita ($38.38) compared to a national average of $122.90.
Although the population with mental illness is growing along with the general Texas population, the Department of State Health Services is not able to serve more people because most of the modest increase of $39.8 million (4.3%) since 2009 pays for expensive psychiatric crisis services. As vital as crisis care is, once the crisis is managed, far too many Texans have to go on a waiting list for ongoing community based care, with the exception of those living in the 7 county NorthSTAR area. The result is a high priced revolving door of crisis teams, emergency rooms and hospitals. And the costs and damage spreads to the criminal justice system through preventable, unnecessary arrests and incarceration.
As your constituent, I call on you to preserve mental health funding and encourage wise use of scarce state dollars. Help individuals and families stay independent of intensive high-cost services through timely and appropriate community treatment, housing and employment supports, and peer/family education. Help us help ourselves.
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