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NAMI Vermont Advocacy Priorities:


NAMI Vermont Advocacy Retreat

Advocacy Goal:

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.

The purpose of NAMI Vermont’s Advocacy Priorities is to provide direction and guidance on issues affecting people living with a mental illness or mental health condition to the NAMI Vermont Board, Advocacy Committee, our affiliates, staff, members, and the general public. NAMI Vermont advocates for all people and families who are living with mental illness or a mental health condition in Vermont.

NAMI Vermont Advocacy Priorities 2021 (numbered for reference only)

  1. Build community awareness and eliminate stigma and discrimination.
  2. Increase mental health funding.
  3. Ensure access to effective mental health services.
  4. Provide access to appropriate, affordable housing and transportation.
  5. Ensure safe and respectful crisis intervention.
  6. Promote appropriate outcomes where the criminal justice system and mental health issues intersect.
  7. Promote training and quality standards at facilities staffed by mental health professionals and providers.
  8. Promote early diagnosis and intervention strategies.
  9. Promote and collaborate on suicide prevention initiatives with other organizations.
  10. Ensure the integration and parity of mental health, substance use, and primary care services to promote wellness.
  11. Assist people with a mental health condition achieve and maintain recovery over the course of their lifetime.

To view the NAMI Vermont Expanded Advocacy Priorities, CLICK HERE.

The Advocacy Committee reviews and updates the priorities on an annual basis and submits the document to the the NAMI Vermont Board of Directors for review and approval.  The 2022 NAMI Vermont Advocacy Priorities were approved by the Board on September 11, 2021.

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 surrounding mental illness 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. Divided, we will surely fail. Together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish!

NAMI Vermont encourages 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 Laurie Emerson at  (802) 876-7949 x101 or email