National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Election 2008: Help NAMI Make a Difference

Mental illness does not discriminate between Republicans and Democrats. As the presidential nominating process for both parties begins in Iowa on January 3, 2007 and New Hampshire on January 8, NAMI is working to educate and encourage the candidates to address mental health issues.

Politics in Iowa and New Hampshire often hinge on close personal encounters, but the advice NAMI is giving voters in those states can be used anywhere. We need your help.  Here’s the plan of action:

  • Start planning now to vote in a primary or attend a nominating caucus in your state. Each party’s primary or caucus in a state does not necessarily fall on the same date. Check The New York Times for the full Republican and Democratic calendars. “Super Tuesday” is February 5, when over 20 states will hold primaries on the same day.
  • Pledge to bring at least two friends with you to vote.
  • Speak out. Write a letter to the editor about the importance of candidates addressing mental health issues.
  • Tell one or more of the campaigns in advance that you’d like to hear what each candidate has to say about mental illness—before you decide whom to support. Most campaigns include email addresses on their Web sites where messages can be sent.  
  • If you attend a candidate event, ask a question if you can. And have a friend ask another. NAMI’s Election 2008 tool kit suggests 10 ways that a person can make a difference and eight questions to ask.

During the holiday season, please take a moment from wrapping presents or hoisting eggnog with friends. Help NAMI make a difference—no matter what candidate you finally choose to support. People who live in Iowa or New Hampshire need to be especially alert. Time is passing fast.