Find Help, Find Hope!

Advocacy & Laws

Advocacy on behalf of everyone affected by mental illness is one of the most important things we do at the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Rhode Island (NAMI Rhode Island). We work hard to make the world understand that those who experience mental illness are entitled to competent medical treatment as much as those with other physical problems.

NAMI’s Local Advocacy Issues

NAMI Rhode Island actively engages local and state politicians and opinion leaders to advocate for individuals and families facing mental illness.  Currently, our priority issues focus on:

  • Funding for mental care
    • Over the last two decades, Rhode Island has lost ground in its national ranking as a one-time leader in care for individuals  and families coping with mental illness.
  • Youth and transition
    • Youth and young adults (age 16-24) living with mental illness and c0-occuring disorders often fall through the cracks of the health care system.
  • Equal treatment for mental illness
    • NAMI Rhode Island believes that every person with a serious mental illness is entitled to the same level of service afforded other physical illnesses.
  • Criminal justice system
    • Rhode Island is one of four states nationally that does not have Crisis Intervention Teams (CITs) in their police departments.

Read the complete set of state advocacy fact sheets: NAMI advocacy fact sheets 7.11.17


Join NAMI Rhode Island and Let Your Voice Be Heard

Learn how you can take action on issues regarding mental illnesses. An important first step is to join NAMI Rhode Island so that you can begin receiving regular updates on important issues and legislation.

NAMI RI is fighting hard to make our voices heard. The most effective way to express our ideas and vision is through our supporters. Having a network of supporters willing to contact their legislators – via email, letter, phone calls or office visits regarding specific issues is essential.

We engage in a variety of strategies to assist people with medically treatable mental illness on their road to recovery.

  • Helping to reduce stigma and fight misconceptions and stereotypes about mental illness
  • Being messengers of recovery ourselves, and creating new messengers of recovery every day
  • Engaging local boards, advisory committees, insurance providers and health care facilities in a meaningful discussion about finding better pathways to recovery
  • Providing a strong voice to shape public policy at all levels of government
  • Securing better funding for important research
  • Protecting people’s access to treatment and services
  • Making sure that people with mental illness understand they are not alone in their fight for recovery

Take Action!

Email your legislators about the issues that matter most to people living with mental illness. Here are links to our local, state and national legislators. To follow the most current legislation in the state of Rhode Island, visit the General Assembly’s Legislation Page.

RI General Assembly
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raymond
Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea

Become a Member


Get Involved


Get In Touch