NAMI-Georgia host Mental Health Day at the Capitol January 31st at 11AM
The state of Georgia ranks last in access to mental healthcare, and while the stigma around mental health may be lifting somewhat, it is often difficult for people to find therapists. When you add in the need for a culturally sensitive therapist, many people are left with nowhere to turn.NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is our state’s largest mental health advocacy organization. Their work last year enabled the Mental Health parity bill to pass. This new law means for the first time in Georgia - all health insurance plans must cover mental health conditions on par with physical ones, so patients can no longer be denied medically necessary treatment. This was a huge accomplishment. Miriam Goodfriend, who leads advocacy at NAMI-Georgia, joins us to discuss their upcoming Mental Health Day at the Capitol. This event will take place on January 31st at 11AM. Everyday, citizens are needed to speak with legislators about the need for more support around mental health.
I ask Miriam Goodfriend to share information about her organization and its goals. She speaks about their education and advocacy programs for families and organizations. There are twenty NAMI affiliates in the state of Georgia that provide the basics, from education to a helpline.
Goodfriend explains that Mental Health Day at the Capitol is the coming together of organizations and individuals to speak with legislators about the need for more support around mental health services. There is power in numbers. The more citizens to participate, the more serious legislators will take the challenge. She shares that this is how the Mental Health Parity Act was passed in 2022.
There is a nationwide shortage of mental health professionals. Goodfriend speaks to that challenge. Georgia is addressing part of the problem by increasing the rate that mental health professionals are paid.
Goodfriend also speaks about the new mental health hotline #988, which went into effect nationwide. She advises that if you have a mental health emergency to go to the emergency room. For a warm helpline with assistance in finding a therapist or program, the NAMI helpline is 770-234-0855.
Register to participate in Mental Health Day at the Capitol
When: January 31st at 11AM
Where: Georgia State Capitol - 206 Washington St. SW Atlanta, GA 30334
What: Receive your mental health advocacy guide for 2023 and meet with elected officials and advocate for the decade of Mental Health in Georgia
For more information on NAMI