Some of you may have received this through other lists, but we wanted to make sure you were aware of NAMI’s new State Legislation Report 2013: Trends, themes and best practices in state mental health legislation. Please share with your members and partner organizations. Converging factors placed mental health in the spotlight in 2013, motivating state lawmakers to enact a wave of legislation with implications for people living with mental illness.
As you work on advocacy priorities for 2014 we hope this report will serve as a reference, enabling you to reflect on what happened in your state legislature in the context of other states. The report answers questions you often ask like:
• What are the current trends in state legislation?
• What is happening to state mental health budgets nationwide?
• What states have passed legislation on a specific issue?
• Can you recommend model bills as a starting point to help us draft legislation?
• What legislation should we prepare to defend against that could threaten the interests of individuals and families living with mental illness?
The narrative describes themes and trends, noting states that stand out on particular issues. Appendices are arranged by issue with U.S. maps depicting states enacting related legislation in 2013. Appendix tables provide brief bill summaries with links to actual legislation by bill and chapter number.
Gold stars indicate best practice bills with potential for replication or adaptation. Bills posing a potential threat are labeled with a red flag. We recommend approaching your legislative champions to sponsor best practice bills addressing challenges in your state.
This report drew from the survey of state NAMI executive directors, presidents and public policy leaders. We are grateful to those of you who completed the survey and to all who responded to requests for information. Further information was gleaned from state legislature websites and media coverage of mental health issues.
We would love your feedback! Tell us how this report is useful and how it could be improved. Is it valuable enough that we should continue the process annually or every two years? If so, how can we do this better and quicker?
Thank you for all you do for NAMI. We appreciate you and are here to help.
Questions? Contact Sita Diehl, firstname.lastname@example.org or Jessica Hart, email@example.com