Tools for Leaders
If you are a NAMI Leader in need of technical assistance for state advocacy, please find the appropriate person to contact
2013 State Legislation Report
NAMI is pleased to offer a new resource, the State Legislation Report 2013: Trends, Themes and Best Practices in State Mental Health Legislation found here. Because mental health was in the spotlight this year, lawmakers enacted a wave of legislation with implications for people living with mental illness. As you work on advocacy priorities for 2014 we hope this report will serve as a reference, enabling you to reflect on what happened in your state legislature in the context of other states and possibly replicating best practices from other states and learning from red flag legislation.
Grassroots Advocacy Tools
NAMI Smarts for Advocacy is a popular hands-on advocacy training program that helps people living with mental illness, friends and family transform their passion and lived experience into skillful grassroots advocacy.
NAMI Smarts for Advocacy is designed to be taught as a series of three 1-2 hour workshops or modules or as a single full-day training that develop the following skills:
- Module 1: Telling a compelling story that is inspiring and makes an “ask” in 90 seconds.
- Module 2: Writing an effective email, making an elevator speech and making an impactful phone call.
- Module 3: Orchestrating a successful meeting with an elected official.
The unique step-by-step, skill-building design of NAMI Smarts is effective with a wide range of participants—from those who are new to advocacy to individuals with more experience. Participants routinely share that they’ve never been able to condense their story or made a clear “ask” and, with NAMI Smarts, they were able to. Lobbyists who represent NAMI State Organizations or mental health coalitions love this program—they see participants come out confident and able to share their story in a way that moves policymakers.
If your NAMI State Organization or NAMI Affiliate is interested in NAMI Smarts, please contact NAMI State Advocacy at (703) 524-7600.
The best ideas often come from fellow grassroots leaders. Explore our Peer Share materials from members of NAMI's State Advocacy Advisory Group and feel free to adapt for your state. (more)
Advocacy Checklists for Leaders
Our advocacy checklists offer step-by-step suggestions for pre-session, session and post-session activities to assist in developing relationships, influencing budgets, cultivating the media and engaging the grassroots.
With state mental health budgets in peril, working with the media to express the need for mental health services is more important than ever.
Elected officials pay attention to what they read or hear in the media--and so does the general public. Media "impressions" around mental health issues help move public opinion and public policy, including budgets.
Use our new Media Relations Tool Kit and discover the many ways you can do your part to strengthen mental health care. NAMI's Media Tool Kit is tailored for NAMI leaders, but we welcome use by all who share our cause.