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Vision: NAMI Massachusetts seeks to extend the education, support, and advocacy programs of NAMI Massachusetts so that we will reach out to all Massachusetts consumers and their families; improve the public’s awareness and understanding of mental illnesses; and advocate at all levels to ensure that all persons affected by mental illnesses receive, in a timely fashion, the services that they need and deserve.

2019 NAMI Mass Legislative Priorities

Legislative Priorities for the 191st General Court Session

NAMI Massachusetts members, staff, and board have identified the following priority areas for advocacy in the upcoming legislative session:


The lack of appropriate and affordable housing is a top concern for NAMI Massachusetts members. We commit to supporting legislation and budgetary initiatives that expand access to affordable housing, increase funding for DMH housing, and address homelessness in the Commonwealth.

Mental Health Parity

Many of the issues facing NAMI Mass members, such as access to services and workforce concerns, could be addressed by strengthening mental health parity in Massachusetts.

  • HD.1417/ SD.1493 An Act relative to mental health parity implementation: Rep. Balser/Sen. Friedman
  • HD.1040 / SD.1513 An Act to require health care coverage for the emergency psychiatric services: Rep. Balser/Sen. Friedman

Criminal Justice Reform

NAMI Mass supports efforts to reduce unnecessary arrest and incarceration of persons with mental health concerns and the humane treatment of all persons in the criminal justice system.

  • HD.1050/ SD.637 An Act to transfer Bridgewater State Hospital from the Department of Corrections to the Department of Mental Health: Rep. Balser/Sen. Creem

Children’s Mental Health Care

NAMI Mass will support legislation and budgetary initiatives that will improve the quality and availability of mental health services for children and young adults.

  • HD.3632/ SD.1005 An Act to protect children’s mental health services: Rep. Malia/Sen. Keenan

Funding for the Department of Mental Health

NAMI Mass commits to advocating for additional funding for vital DMH services.

Updated February 14th, 2019

Dream Big Together Webinar slides

Building Relationships with Newly Elected Policymakers

Advocacy Training Webinar Handouts

Dream Big Activity Results

NAMI Massachusetts Position Papers: 

Efforts to Decriminalize Addiction Must Include Mental Health (PDF)

Supporting Law Enforcement: The Vital Next Step in the Decriminalization of Mental Illness (PDF)

Separating Myth from Fact: Unlinking Mental Illness and Violence and Implications for Gun Control Legislation and Public Policy (PDF)

Revised Report Issued May 27, 2014: WAY BEHIND: Report on the State of Mental Health in 2014 (PDF)

The Massachusetts Mental Health System is Critically Underfunded (PDF)

Mass. Legislator Website

Massachusetts Emergency Behavioral Health Services Program (PDF) Find Your Legislators: To find who your legislators are or where to vote call 617-722-2000

Massachusetts Legislature

Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse