Legislative Priorities

Current Priorities: 2021 – 2022 Legislative Session

For each two-year legislative session, NAMI Massachusetts works with state-wide affiliates and advocacy partners to determine our legislative priorities for the upcoming session. This is a combination of consensus around specific concerns and opportunity for making change.

Download PDF summary.

Read about our priorities for Advocacy Day 2021 below and the day’s agenda here.

Questions? email advocacy@namimass.org

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Access to Care

NAMI members and families are often on the front lines of dealing with our mental health system and encountering the barriers to accessing mental health services.

  • SD 1789/HD3587 An Act for supportive care for serious mental illness
    Sponsors:
    Sen Cronin, Rep Decker
    Requires health insurers to cover Coordinated Specialty Care and Assertive Community Treatment as a benefit reducing the overall cost burden on insurers, while having a much better outcome for the individual, addressing barriers to accessing care

Download the Fact Sheet

  • SD2065/HD2692 An Act to better coordinate suicide prevention services, behavioral health crisis care and emergency services through 988 implementation
    Sponsors: Sen. Cyr,
    Rep. Decker
    This bill will create a 988 infrastructure that coordinates several parts of a cohesive behavioral health crisis response system. It creates a commission to review the behavioral health crisis care recommendations developed by Crisis Now, study barriers and opportunities for 988 implementation in Massachusetts, and recommend a structure that utilizes this new resource to better coordinate suicide prevention, behavioral health crisis care, and emergency services to divert individuals from law enforcement interactions and get them the behavioral health care and supports they need.

Download the Fact Sheet

Housing

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.

  • SD 1906/HD 2441 An Act promoting housing stability and homelessness prevention in Massachusetts
    Sponsors:Sen DiDomenico, Reps Rogers & Day
    Ensure access to the right assistance to prevent families and individuals from the trauma of eviction and displacement, while creating a path to housing stability.

Download the Fact Sheet

Criminal Justice Reform

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

  • SD 2386/HD3974 An Act to ensure the constitutional rights and human dignity of prisoners on mental health watch
    Sponsors:
    Sen Eldridge, Rep. Fluker Oakley
    Address the conditions for confinement for prisoners on mental health watch.

Download the Fact Sheet

  • HD 3807/SD2352 An Act To Create Alternatives For Community Emergency Services (Aces)
    Sponsors: Rep Sabadosa, Sen Chang-Diaz
    Would establish a grant program to provide an additional option beyond law enforcement, such as social workers, peer support specialists, and other community members, for community-based emergency responses.

Download the Fact Sheet

Funding for Mental Health services

NAMI Mass commits to advocating for additional funding for vital services including budget increases for supported housing and children’s mental health.