How can I get involved to advocate on behalf of mental health?

Personal advocacy is an essential element to the fight against stigma, and NAMI relies on it to get our message out to the public. However, as an organization NAMI does not possess the resources to advocate on behalf of specific individuals or situations. 

Organizations such as the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) or the Americans With Disabilities Act Information Line (800) 514-0301 work directly in this area to ensure that individuals’ needs are met by organizations/institutions.  

How NAMI Can Help

Much advocacy happens at local and state level. To get involved and help others living with mental health conditions, we encourage you to contact your NAMI State Organization or local NAMI Affiliate that can tell you about our NAMI Smarts For Advocacy program that provides training to assist individuals with lived experience to transform their passion and experience into skillful grassroots-advocacy. To find your nearest NAMI Affiliate, click on your state through the Find Your Local NAMI menu. 

You can also read about NAMI’s Public Policy Platform on our website and use NAMI’s online system for Contacting Your Representatives  if you’re interested in advocating for mental health legislation.

Other Mental Health Self-Advocacy Organizations

  • is an advocacy blog sponsored by Families for Depression Awareness organization that provides an online forum where those affected by the mental health care system can openly discuss its strengths and weakness, along with thought leaders and advocates.
  • Be Vocal Speak is a partnership of six leading mental health advocacy organizations, including NAMI, that encourages people to advocate for themselves and their community by using their voice in support of mental health. The website provides tips for how to “speak up” - in person and on social media about their experience with mental health.

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