Join Us for Mental Health Advocacy Day – Jan. 31

By Laurie Emerson  |  January 9, 2018  |  Featured News

We need your support at Mental Health Advocacy Day on January 31, 2018 – 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. 40 co-sponsors will be advocating for mental health policies, and urging lawmakers about the importance of “Caring for Vermonters ~ Invest in Mental Health”. Please join us at the State House. The agenda includes activities that will be of interest for every mental health advocate and supporter including advocacy training, opportunities to interact with legislators, providing testimony and listening to personal stories of lived experience.


  • Call or email your legislator to schedule time to meet with them on the 31st!
  • Meet one-on-one or in groups with other advocates to discuss topics.
  • Click here to find your legislator. (
  • Share this information with your network – we need a strong presence at the State House


Who Should Attend: Mental health advocates, peers, family members, professionals, providers, community members and mental health stakeholders.

7:30-10 A.M. ~ REGISTRATION (Room 11 – hearing room on first floor directly beneath the House Chamber):

  • Upon arriving, visit us in Room 11 to register, pick up the agenda, talking points, map of State House rooms, and other relevant information.
  • Join us at the Card Room in front of the Cafeteria
  • Registration is available from 7:30-10 a.m.
  • Pick up a sticker to wear and show your support of Mental Health Advocacy Day.
  • Depending on how early you arrive, you may be able to meet with your legislator before committee meetings begin at or around (8:30 A.M.)


Testimonials for committees are being planned in advance. Everyone is welcome to sit in on the committee sessions. Space is limited – so arrive early. Some testimonials may be scheduled in the afternoon. The committee testimony schedule will be available soon. 

9:00-9:50 A.M. ~ ADVOCACY TRAINING: (Room 11)

Learn from Peter Mallary and Ed Paquin on how to share your story and advocate for an improved mental health system of care with legislators. This training will provide some skills to use for the event day, and beyond!


State leaders will share their insights on the “State of Mental Health in Vermont”. Room 11 is the large meeting room off the main hallway on the first floor of the State House near the coat room. Everyone should attend this event. Additionally, awards will be presented.

11:00 A.M. ~ SHARING OUR STORIES (Room 11):

Sign up or contact us if you are interested in sharing your story of recovery, poetry, or other information (3-5 minutes).

NOON ~ CAFETERIA: Meet with your legislator for lunch in the cafeteria to advocate for increased funding to ensure mental health services are accessible in the community and for sensible mental health care policy.

1:00-2:00 P.M.: Join us in the House Chamber as we are recognized by our Representatives


  • Capitol Plaza parking lot (metered).
  • Off street parking (metered on most streets near the Statehouse, but some free street parking can be found further away)
  • Department of Labor parking lot on Green Mountain Drive (free) – second left from interstate, past first traffic light.
  • Capitol Shuttle runs every 20 minutes from 7:20 am – 5:20 pm

CAR POOLING: We encourage car pooling. Contact your co-sponsoring organization who may be able to coordinate rides from your area.

QUESTIONS: Contact Laurie Emerson at NAMI Vermont 800-639-6480 x101 or email

Co-Sponsored by: Active Minds/St. Michael’s College ~ Alyssum ~ Blueprint for Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse ~ Building Bright Futures ~ Champlain Community Services ~ Clara Martin Center (CMC) ~ Counseling Service of Addison County (CSAC) ~ Disability Rights Vermont ~ Families First Inc. ~ Green Mountain Support Services ~ Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS) ~ HowardCenter ~ Lamoille County Mental Health Services (LCMHS) ~ Lincoln Street ~ Me2/Orchestra ~ NAMI Vermont ~ NFI Vermont, Inc. ~ Northeast Kingdom Human Services (NKHS) ~ Northwestern Counseling and Support Services (NCSS) ~ Pathways Vermont ~ Rutland Mental Health Services ~ SNHU Graduate Program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (PCMH) ~ Spring Lake Ranch Therapeutic Community ~ Team Two ~ United Counseling Service of Bennington County, Inc. (UCS) ~ Upper Valley Services ~ UVM Medical Center ~ Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition ~ Vermont Association for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery (VAMHAR) ~ Vermont Care Partners (Vermont Council of Developmental and Mental Health Services) ~ Vermont Center for Independent Living ~ Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement and Innovation ~ Vermont Department of Mental Health ~ Vermont Family Network ~ Vermont Mental Health Counselors Association ~ Vermont Psychological Association ~ Vermont Suicide Prevention Center ~ Washington County Mental Health Services, Inc. (WCMHS) ~ Wellness Workforce Coalition

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