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Advocacy Event 1-25-17 panel board ED Advocacy Event 1-25-17 Sharon 2 Advocacy Event 1-25-17 Matt 1Photos from our Advocacy Event on January 25,2017

NAMI Westchester sponsored its first advocacy event on January 25, 2017.  More than 60 people registered for the event. Matthew Shapiro, Associate Director for Public Affairs with NAMI NYS, presented the NAMI NYS 2017 initiatives. For a complete list of the initiatives, go to  Brad Hansen, Public Policy Coordinator for Families Together in NYS, spoke on the movement to #raisetheage of criminal responsibility in New York as well as reforms to solitary confinement (for more information on issues and legislation go to  Alicia Barraza, parent advocate, shared her compelling story of the difficulties she faced while trying to help her son once he was placed in the prison system. Unfortunately, her son took his life while in prison and now Alicia is advocating for change in his memory. DJ Jaffe, Executive Director with discussed Federal Mental Health Reform and the work his organization does. NAMI Westchester hosted this event to encourage people to join us in visiting our state representatives on February 14, 2017 as part of NAMI NYS Legislature Day in Albany; please contact the office if you are interested.

Below are some of the initiatives NAMI will be advocating for in 2017:

  • Establishing Kendra’s Law permanently – an explanation-of-Kendra’s Law
  • Increased Supported Housing – Lack of housing is a major crisis and there certainly is the need for more supported housing for individuals working towards recovery.
  • CIT Expansion – Many counties in NYS still do not have Crisis Intervention Training (CIT).  Westchester County does hold this training at least twice a year but we know that more training is needed.
  • Raise the Age, proposed new guidelines for our youth in the criminal justice system –raise-the-age
  • Solitary Reform – facts-on-solitary-confinement


NAMI conducted an online survey in winter 2015 to answer the question, “What do insurance beneficiaries experience when they seek mental health care?” Click here to see the results.

NAMI Westchester has an Advocacy Committee. The committee works closely with NAMI NYS to address legislative issues. If you wish to join our Advocacy Committee please call our offices at 914-592-5458 or email your contact information (name, phone number and email) to

NAMI NYS Advocacy. On the link below you can obtain the name of your state and federal representatives.


To learn about s. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act click here.

Please click here to find out about what you can do to get S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act passed.

President Obama signed the 21st Century Cure Act Bill on December 13.  For details on the mental health reforms in the bill click here

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