Just a couple of weeks ago, many NAMI Wisconsin staff members had the opportunity to visit the Wisconsin State Capitol on behalf of our organization and the work we do. In an effort to share our 2017-2018 policy priorities, we hand-delivered folders to each legislator in the Capitol. These folders were packed with important information, such as relevant fact sheets, a quick guide to Wisconsin’s mental health resources, and brochures about our programs and services around the state.
As we started to deliver the folders to each legislator, we were greeted warmly while being invited into offices to talk more about the common barriers those with mental illness face on a daily basis. Many legislative staffers thanked us and told us they genuinely appreciated the information on how to better support individuals who face these extreme challenges in their everyday lives.
We continually find that is difficult to gauge how comfortable people are when discussing mental illness. This situation was no exception. However, the visit to the Wisconsin State Capitol was a powerful chance for us to break down that stigma piece-by-piece with important policymakers, while also sharing our passion for the work NAMI does.
Thank you to everyone who supports NAMI in the ways you are able to. Whether your efforts include giving financially, reading our Iris newsletters, following our latest Action Alerts, or courageously sharing your personal story, please know that you are making a huge difference. Advocacy is not a one person job and we certainly could not what we do without you. You are all important advocates to us.
We all had a blast while sharing NAMI Wisconsin’s work with our senators and representatives. We hope they continue to see us a resource and a partner in improving the quality of life for people affected by mental illness.
Written by Leah Rolando, MSW Intern at NAMI Wisconsin