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Advocacy

Partners in Policy: Join Us in Advocacy

If you would like to get involved in advocating at the state level for policies that benefit those with mental illness, we invite you to attend our annual Partners in Policy Training and Advocacy Day events on March 12 -13 in Jefferson City.

NAMI Missouri is offering a two-day peer mentor training for individuals living with mental illness who want to become mental health advocates and consumer leaders. Over the course of two days we will help you discover how to best tell your own story to advocate for yourself and for others, then we will travel together to the State Capitol to put your newfound skills to use.

Travel, lodging and meal expenses are covered through grant funding provided by SAMHSA and the Missouri Foundation for Health. The training includes NAMI SMARTS for Advocacy materials, which are hands-on advocacy training tools designed to transform passion and experience into effective grassroots advocacy.

This free training is primarily geared toward those with mental illness, but there are a limited number of spots available for family members, friends and allies.

Partners-in-Policy Training & Advocacy Day

Jefferson City – Best Western Plus Capital Inn
Mon., March 12 – Tues., March 13, 2018
Application Deadline – Feb. 9, 2018
Attendance is limited to 40 participants

Apply online at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/partners-in-policy-training-tickets-37629724519

Or download a registration form: Partners in Policy Training Application 2018

2018 Legislative priorities

NAMI Missouri is gearing up for the 2018 legislative session, which begins January 3. State budget shortfalls mean an increased risk for cuts to mental health services, and NAMI Missouri will be watching the issues and is ready to fight for those who depend on these critical services.

One of the major policy priorities we hope to see passed this year is a mental health parity bill to enhance current laws by requiring insurance benefits for mental health and substance use conditions to equal coverage for other types of health care. NAMI Missouri is pleased to be partnering with NAMI St. Louis and the Missouri Federation of Behavioral Health Advocates on this important issue.

A coalition of behavioral health advocacy groups will host a series of meetings on this topic across the state Jan. 22-24 in St. Louis, Jefferson City, Springfield and Kansas City.

Why advocate?

Perhaps the best definition of advocacy was voiced by Eleanor Roosevelt: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

In facing the stigma and shame that still surrounds mental illness, we are tested by many challenges. Each of us has had to break through boundaries of fear and convention to help our family member. Each of us has felt the discrimination that exists against people who have brain disorders. In our struggle to “stand with” and “stand up for” our loved ones, we are all advocates.

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