Your Voice Matters
By using our stories and using our voices, we can make a change for mental health in Vermont. NAMI Vermont’s advocacy efforts help to promote recovery and build better lives for individuals and families affected by mental illness.
NAMI Vermont Advocacy
Speak Up, Be Heard
NAMI Vermont strongly embraces the principles of recovery and believes that all mental health and related services and supports should be provided with the goal of helping individuals achieve recovery and resiliency in their lives. We are a non-partisan organization that supports, to the fullest extent possible, solidarity with other mental health advocacy communities to effect positive changes in societal attitudes, legislation, education, and community and organizational responsiveness. Our advocates have lived experience.
We advocate in many ways:
We recognize that each individual experiences mental illness and recovery differently. We support treatment and supportive services that address each need. Private or community services, medication, peer support, housing, education, employment and other supports can call contribute to recovery. NAMI Vermont advocates to ensure that people who are not experiencing recovery, but may cope with hardships such as homelessness, substance abuse and incarceration, receive every support possible to put them on the path to recovery.
Our goal is that youth and adults living with mental illness or a mental health condition receive the right care at the right time and in the right place to experience lives of resiliency, recovery, and inclusion.
2023 NAMI Vermont Advocacy Platform
To view the NAMI Vermont Expanded Advocacy Priorities, CLICK HERE.
(Updated at Advocacy Retreat on 09/01/2022 and 09/15/2022. Approved by the NAMI Vermont Board of Directors on 12/10/2022.)
Mental Health Advocacy Day
Raise Your Voices Together for Mental Health
Every year, advocates join together to raise their voices in support of mental health. Mental Health Advocacy Day is held every winter at the Statehouse. The morning is filled with welcome addresses from state leaders, a keynote plenary session and special awards. The afternoon features opportunities for people to share their stories of hope and recovery. There are also opportunities to provide testimony at key legislative committees.
Who Should Attend?
All mental health advocates, peers, family members, professionals, providers, community members and mental health stakeholders are invited to attend.
Our Next Advocacy Day will be held in January 2024. Stay tuned for more information.
Become an Advocate
We believe that stigma about mental illness will only be eradicated through consistent, effective outreach and improved public awareness that spotlights individual successes and positive outcomes. We understand that stigma discourages individuals from getting help and remains a key barrier to winning public support to improve our mental health system of care. We believe advocacy for a better system of mental health care is more effective when individuals living with mental illness, family members, and providers work together. There is no limit to what we can accomplish when we work Together for Mental Health!
We encourage providers, government agencies, and legislative representatives to listen to the voices of family members and peers when considering funding decisions related to programs/services that support peers and families living with mental illness or a mental health condition in Vermont.
For more information on our advocacy efforts, contact us at (802) 876-7949 x101 or email [email protected].
Legislative Advocacy Training
Help Make a Positive Change in Mental Health Services
Grassroots advocacy is simple. You don’t have to know about policies or politics. It’s about using your voice and sharing your story to influence policy makers and make a difference. Turn your passion and lived experience into a positive voice for mental health.
NAMI Smarts is a hands-on advocacy training to help you find your voice and build a connection. This training is a series of workshops/modules to help develop the following skills:
The unique step-by-step, skill-building design of NAMI Smarts is effective with a wide range of participants, including those who are new to advocacy as well as individuals with years of experience.
The next NAMI Smarts training will be scheduled in the near future.
Be Heard, Get Involved
Being an advocate for mental health can make a difference in your community and in the state. Policy change is a major way to make a difference in the lives of individuals affected by mental illness and their families. It just takes three steps.
Know your state legislators and how to contact them. This is the first step to being an advocate for mental health.
Attend local community events such as town halls. Be available to serve.
Stay connected with legislators and proposed legislation. Learn how to share your story effectively.
Here are some resources to help you become an advocate:
If you are interested in learning more about advocacy work, please contact us at (802) 876-7949 x101 or email [email protected].