Florida Mental Health Advocacy

Personal experience with mental illness and navigating the mental health system makes family members and people with mental illness uniquely qualified to both educate elected officials on issues of importance and advocate for the policies and funding necessary to provide services that are essential to people with mental illness.

NAMI Jacksonville is a member of the Florida Mental Health Advocacy Coalition. The Florida Mental Health Advocacy Coalition is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of organizations that advocate for policy changes to improve the quality of life for those who live with a mental illness and/or substance use disorder in the state of Florida. FLMHAC is mostly composed of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or Mental Health America (MHA) affiliates, but welcomes other mental health advocacy group representatives with a shared mission.  Please sign up for Advocacy Alerts here.

FLMHAC 2021 Legislative Priorities

What is Medicaid Expansion? View the FLMHAC Medicaid Expansion Fact Sheet.

Learn more about Advocacy on a state level by visiting the Florida Mental Health Advocacy Coalition.

9-8-8 Legislation

In 2020, Congress passed a new law to make 988 the nationwide three-digit number for mental health crisis and suicide prevention, operating through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. By July 2022, all
telecommunications companies will be required to route 988 calls to the Lifeline, which has a nationwide network of call centers.

Now, states need to work quickly to build their 988 crisis response systems to be able to effectively respond to mental health crisis calls, including passing legislation to implement fees to fund crisis call centers and response capacity, as well as consider appropriations of general funds to support the crisis system. To do this, NAMI strongly supports the “Model Bill for Core State Behavioral Health Crisis Services Systems,” which would enable a state, if the legislation is enacted, to comply with the federal National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 (S. 2661) and build needed
infrastructure to effectively respond to mental health crises. View the National Alliance on Mental Illness Model Legislation that implements a range of crisis response services.

How a 988 Crisis Response System Will Change Mental Health Crises

NAMI's Crisis Response System Vision

Public Policy

Public policy makes a difference in the lives of both the people living with mental health conditions and the people in their lives. Changes in policy can mean better outcomes. Our advocacy efforts have led to many victories including:

  • Securing better funding for research.
  • Protecting access to treatments and services.
  • Attaining mental health parity to ensure that mental illness is treated equally to physical illness in most insurance plans.

But we still have work to do, and we need your help. Learn about mental health advocacy. Talk to your neighbors, friends and family about why these issues are important. Find out how you can get involved with your local NAMI’s advocacy efforts.

To learn more about NAMI’s stance on advocacy and public policy issues that affect adults and children living with mental illness and their families, read the NAMI Public Policy Platform (PDF).

Learn about advocacy on a national level by visiting The National Alliance on Mental Illness