NAMI’s National Day of Action on Capitol Hill
Twenty-six NAMI Massachusetts members attended a meeting in Washington DC with Rep. McGovern’s staff last Thursday, Sept. 4th. Jennifer Chandler, Senior Legislative Assistant, was pleased to meet us all and NAMI Mass will be meeting with the Congressman soon in Worcester. NAMI members passionately spoke about the need for Congress to fund more mental health research, support the Murray bill and generally treat mental illness like any other physical illness. We are sick and tired of receiving second class treatment!!!! (See the photo).
We also met with staff from Senators Warren and Markey’s office, Congressman Joe Kennedy’s office and Congresswoman Nicci Tsongas.
Prior to our meetings on Capitol Hill, 1600 NAMI members heard a great opening plenary from:
- Patrick Kennedy, former US Representative from Rhode Island, Co-Founder of One Mind for Research; Patrick quoted his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, about not wanting to wait “any longer or have more patience to deal with our civil rights issues.” Patrick made the same argument for mental illness – we can’t wait any longer to have mental illness treated like any other physical illness.
- Demi Lovato, recording artist, author, actress and mental health advocate gave her own very moving personal perspective on mental illness and how she is working to overcome her challenges, but it takes work every day.
- Creigh Deeds, Virginia State Senator who lost his son to suicide last November. Creigh Deeds has vowed to make Virginia the “#1 State in the Country when it comes to Mental Health funding and services”. He wants no other family to have to go thru what he and his family have been through.
- Mary Giliberti, is the new Executive of NAMI National. She moderated the program and is FABUOUS!
All three of these presenters were fabulous and struck a chord with everyone who heard them. Thank you NAMI for hosting such a powerful Convention.
Me2/Music for Mental Health!