#vote4mentalhealth

From health care to the economy to criminal justice and more, mental health touches many of the issues that you might care about the most. Whenever you cast your ballot, you #Vote4MentalHealth, whether you realize it or not.  

Every elected official – from the president and Congress to county commissioners and city councilmembers – has influence on issues impacting people affected by mental health conditions. Your vote matters. 

When you take the pledge to #Vote4MentalHealth, you commit to understanding how your vote impacts people with mental health conditions and how you can act. When you pledge, we’ll send you information on how to vote in your state and steps you can take to understand where candidates stand on issues you care about. 

Make a Plan to #Vote4MentalHealth

Key Massachusetts Dates

  • General Election Day: November 8, 2022 
  • General Election Ballots Mailed: October 18, 2022 
  • General Election In-Person Early Voting Opens: October 28, 2022 

 

Helpful Information

#vote4mentalhealth
Know Your Candidates
NAMI Massachusetts’ Mental Health Candidate Questionnaire – for Governor & Lieutenant Governor Candidates

The policymakers we elect have an impact on the mental health services you see in our community. Your vote makes an impact at the federal, state and local levels. That’s why NAMI Massachusetts distributed a questionnaire to the candidates running for Massachusetts Governor and Lieutenant Governor to help you better understand the role they’ll play in your community.

Candidates for Governor
Responses coming soon.

Geoff Diehl (R)

Maura Healey (D)

Kevin Reed (L)

Candidates for Lt. Governor
Responses coming soon.

Leah Allen Cole (R)

Kim Driscoll (D)

Peter Everett (L)

Our questionnaire was sent out Monday, October 3rd and must be received by Friday, October 21st at 5pm. Keep checking in or follow us on social media to get updates as candidates answer the following questions.

Note: NAMI Massachusetts is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We do not endorse any candidates, or rank or alter their answers in any way. We provide this information to educate you on where candidates in your district stand on key mental health issues and let you use this information to inform your vote.

Candidate Questions...

We asked the candidates…

  1. 988 is the new three-digit number for people to contact during a mental health, substance use, or suicide crisis. What is your plan for the next step for 988 and crisis reform more broadly in Massachusetts?
  2. When a person is experiencing a mental health crisis, a law enforcement response increases the likelihood that they receive handcuffs, not help. What policies would you implement to ensure people in our community receive a mental health response?
  3. People with mental health conditions are booked into our nation’s jails and prisons two million times every year, where they tend to stay longer as their conditions worsen. What strategies would you support to keep people living with mental illness out of jail? How do you believe jails can address the mental health needs of those in their custody?
  4. We’re facing a shortage of mental health professionals, meaning it’s more challenging to find care when you need it. Over half of adults with mental illness did not receive treatment in 2020. How would you address the mental health workforce shortage, particularly to reflect the diversity of our community?
  5. The mental health system in Massachusetts is complex and communication across the system is often fragmented. If elected governor, what strategies would you promote to help families better understand the mental health care system and more quickly and easily access services for their loved ones living with mental illness?
  6. Access to permanent, decent, affordable housing, and supportive services is critical for individuals living with severe mental illness and those on the road to recovery. How would you address the lack of affordable housing across the state?
  7. State and federal law requires insurance coverage parity, or the equal treatment of mental health conditions and substance use disorders, compared to physical health conditions. However, individuals in MA still often receive unequal coverage for mental health treatment and services. What will you do to improve accessible and affordable coverage for mental health conditions?
Share Why You #Vote4MentalHealth

Anyone can #Vote4MentalHealth. It’s what makes mental health advocates so powerful – people from all walks of life can come together for a common purpose. To help spread awareness on why it is important to #Vote4MentalHealth, people need to hear from you. Use the templates below or make your own, and don’t forget to tag us for a chance to be featured on our socials!

I #Vote4MentalHealth Because...

“I #Vote4MentalHealth because…” is a way for mental health advocates to start the conversation about why voting is so important for all people affected by mental health conditions.

        I #Vote4MentalHealth because we need equitable coverage of mental health care.
        I #Vote4MentalHealth because our community needs more mental health services.

Everyone has their own reasons to #Vote4MentalHealth. What’s your reason? Print out the blank PDF, write your answer, take a picture and share it!

I’m ___ & I #Vote4MentalHealth

“I’m ___ & I #Vote4MentalHealth” allows you to share as much or as little as you want about why you #Vote4MentalHealth. For some, this is an easy way to share their commitment. For others, it can serve as a conversation starter to share more about their story and why they #Vote4MentalHealth. The blank space is an open opportunity for you to share your ties to mental health advocacy or why you #Vote4MentalHealth. Want to share with your friends and family, but don’t know where to begin? Use the sample social media post below to get started!

         I’m [Name/job/connection to mental health/etc.] and I #Vote4MentalHealth. Will you join me this election? 

Pre-filled graphics, blank PDFs to print out and add your own response, and ways to quickly share on social are available here…

Information about Voting Rights
Voting Rights information from the Bazelon Center

Voting Rights information from the Bazelon Center

The Bazelon Center advocates for the civil rights, full inclusion, and equality of people with mental health conditions. On this webpage you’ll find information about voting rights for people with mental health diagnoses.

REV UP Massachusetts

REV UP Massachusetts

REV UP (Register, Educate, Vote, Use your Power!) works to increase voter registration and engagement for people with disabilities by working to eliminate barriers to the polls and voter suppression. On this website you’ll find information about voting rights for people with disabilities in Massachusetts.

Know Your Voting Rights from the Emancipation Initiative

Know Your Voting Rights from the Emancipation Initiative

The Emancipation Initiative works to end long term and limitless prison sentences sanctioned through state legislature. On this webpage you’ll find information about voting rights for people who are or were involved in the criminal legal system in Massachusetts.