National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI Legal Center

The NAMI Legal Center advocates on behalf of individuals with severe mental illnesses and their families. Our Legal Center works both independently and collaborates with private attorneys, legal service organizations, mental health and consumer advocacy organizations on projects of mutual interest.

Our Core Projects focus on:

  • Criminalization of People with Severe Mental Illnesses:
    • Jail Diversion Strategies, including Police Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) teams & Mental Health Courts;
    • Access to treatment for inmates with serious mental illnesses;
    • Discharge planning & transitional services; and
    • Training of Law Enforcement & Court Personnel.

  • NAMI Law and Science Center - - The Center was created to provide technical assistance to lawyers suing third party public and private sector payers to promote unrestricted access to medications. The Center provides technical assistance on clinical, legal and health economics issues to lawyers representing people with mental illnesses or their families in pertinent cases, with a particular focus on linking lawyers with information, materials and experts needed to develop and advance their cases on access to medications and services.

  • Amicus Briefs/Litigation Support in cases broadly impacting on access to services and the rights of persons with serious mental illnesses.
  • Provide information about The ADA & Other Legal Rights for People with Mental Illnesses
  • Legal Publications - - Provide important information on legal and advocacy issues that impact people with severe mental illnesses
  • Lawyer Referral Panels
    Unfortunately the NAMI Legal Center is not able to provide individual representation in legal matters. However, we maintain two lawyer referral panels, a general referral panel and an elder and estate planning panel, and may be able to refer you to an attorney for representation. If you are interested in a lawyer referral, or in joining our panels, please click here.

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