NAMI is recognized as the preeminent voice on Capitol Hill and in state houses across the country for the millions of Americans living with serious mental illness. NAMI advocates have fought for policy changes that raise the bar on mental illness care and promote treatment and research on par with other illnesses. NAMI’s advocacy provides a unique voice for people who live with mental illness and their families in state and federal public and private-sector policies that facilitate research, end discrimination, reduce barriers to successful life in the community and promote timely, comprehensive and effective mental health services and supports. NAMI National and NAMI grassroots leaders work steadily to influence critical national policy debates as they unfold.

Here in Washtenaw County, we offer training in NAMI Smarts which gives our members the skills to advocate for change in mental health services. Members of NAMI WC sit on many boards and committees to improve mental health services (including the Washtenaw County Health Organization, the UM Department of Psychiatry Patient & Family Centered Care Committee, two Recipient Rights Committees, and the Washtenaw Health Initiative). We have advocated for mental health services in schools through NAMI’s signature program, Parents and Teachers as Allies. NAMI WC provides community education programs quarterly through the workgroup called Mental Health Matters. NAMI also collaborates with District Court 14-A and the local CMH agency (CSTS) to help the newly formed Mental Health Treatment Court.

NAMI WC is looking for opportunities to teach advocacy skills and we are seeking volunteers who want to participate in our advocacy activities.