Tell Your Legislators Why Mental Health Matters

Now is the time to let your incoming state legislators know why mental health matters to you. You can make a difference by reaching out before the 2019 Session convenes on January 8th. 

Don't let your state senator and representative retreat behind the walls of the Tennessee Capitol and the inner workings of the legislative process. They were elected to work for you.

Now is the time to contact them. Introduce yourself (if they don't already know you). Let them know why it is so important that they support mental health legislation, policy and funding. 

Here are a few suggestions to get started:

  • Briefly state what mental health priority is important to you and how it personally affects you, your family member or your community.
  • Be polite and avoid language you would be embarrassed to forward to others.
  • Make an Ask: If you have specific suggestions about what policy solutions you'd like to see, be sure to share them. And ask them to respond to your ideas.
  • Or invite them to join NAMI TN's Day on the Hill on Wednesday February 20th
  • Let them know there are organizations like NAMI TN that can be a resource. 
  • Thank your policymaker for their time or for their attention to your issue. 
Key messages:

  • We must strengthen Tennessee's overburdened mental health care system.
  • As rates of suicides and overdoses continue to climb in Tennessee, you save lives when you protect and and expand mental health services, treatment and care 
  • One if four adults in Tennessee experiences a mental health condition. Mental illness affects all families and treatment works. 
  • Tennessee ranks 16th in the prevalence of mental illness but 46th in access to mental health care
  • The costs of untreated mental illness only get shifted elsewhere- to emergency departments and county jails 
  • The governor, state legislators and other officials need to protect and strengthen mental health care. We need to invest in proven, cost-effective, community-based treatment and services that promote recovery.
  • Preserving mental health services preserves jobs, keeping people working and well rather than overlooked, marginalized, and sick

You can find additional tips and talking points in the 'Advocacy Resources' tab below. 

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