BOSTON (WWLP) – The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is looking to change several existing policies, including some that would directly impact residents in the western part of the state.
NAMI, a national organization with offices in Agawam, wants lawmakers to provide more resources for residents struggling with mental illness.
The group is working on several bills including criminal justice reform. House Bill 16-98 aims to reduce the number of mentally ill people who are arrested or incarcerated for showing signs of their illness.
NAMI officials made sure their objectives were heard at Advocacy Day on Monday.
“It’s to help them pass these bills with understanding of why we’re here, that we can help our citizens in western Mass., not only in western Mass. but our whole state of Massachusetts,” Bishop Neil Boyd, President of NAMI western Massachusetts said.
NAMI is also working to provide more mental health resources for children with MassHealth or Private Insurance.
They are also pushing policies that would help families with a history of mental illness find a stable place to live.
Mental health advocates are hoping their legislative priorities will pass this session so they can help hundreds of residents in need across the Commonwealth.