VIRTUAL ADVOCACY DAY: Contact Legislators on Key Mental Health Issues

 Spend 3 minutes….Impact Your Future!

Virtual Advocacy Day

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

PUT  YOUR  ADVOCACY INTO ACTION

On Wednesday, February 20, 2013, The Kansas Mental Health Coalition encourages all Advocates, Consumers, Family Members, Staff Members, and Board Members to join together and urge our Kansas Legislators to restore funding for critical programs that keep children and adults in their own homes and communities, instead of in hospitals. 

WHAT TO DO……..

  1. Register to vote.  Are you registered to vote? If not, you must act TODAY. Go to the voter registration web site, print out the registration form, fill it ALL in, fill in the Qualifications box, and the personal information. If you don’t fill in each section, you will not be registered to vote. Send that in ASAP, the address for your county clerk is on the back of the form.
  2. Find your Kansas legislators. Go to the web site  www.votesmart.org, Find the name of your State Senator and/or Representative, then click on their e-mail address on the right side of the page and become a Virtual Advocate!
  3. Write your message in an e-mail to your legislators. Write a message about mental health and your own experience.  KEEP IT SHORT, TO ONE PAGE:
  1. Describe your life or your loved one’s WITHOUT treatment,
  2. Describe the BENEFITS of treatment for you or your family member
  3. Ask your legislators to support the positions of the Mental Health Coalition as outlined below.

Here is a guide you can use if you wish:

M E N T A L   H E A L T H  M A T T E R S

Dear Senator/Representative _________________, I am _______________________ and am a registered voter in your district. Community Based Mental Health is the backbone of the mental health system in Kansas, and provides the least expensive treatment and care to Kansans who have mental illness. On average, per day, treatment costs are $543 at state-run psychiatric hospitals; $80 to be incarcerated at Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility; $55 to be incarcerated at the county jail; and $22 for someone who is severely and persistently mentally ill. Community services are cost effective.

During the 2013 Kansas Legislative session, please support the Kansas Mental Health Coalition’s position on: Choose any of the KMHC position topics that are important to you. Example:

$      Restore Funding to Serve the Uninsured. Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) have served more uninsured Kansans each year since 2007, while their funding to serve the uninsured was cut by 50% during those same years. The CMHCs have a State mandate to serve everyone regardless of their ability to pay. However, if a person with a mental illness does not receive timely treatment, they will end up in emergency rooms, State psychiatric hospitals, or jails-all of which cost a great deal more than the community mental health treatment.

Thank you for your support of community mental health. Please contact me if you would like further information

Sincerely, Name, Address, E-mail, Phone 

FINALLY…

BE  SURE  TO REGISTER  FOR  MENTAL  HEALTH  ADVOCACY  DAY  AT THE CAPITOL: MARCH 14, 2013

Join fellow consumers, family members, providers and advocates to learn about current mental health policy and budget issues and to educate our Kansas Legislators!  Please make appointments now with your Representative and Senator to meet with them when you come toTopeka.  They need to hear your perspective and concerns about mental health program budgets and policy issues.  Check in begins at 9 am at theTopeka

Performing Arts Center, 214 SE 8th Street [Use Quincy Street entrance].  There will be a policy briefing from 9:45 – 11:45 am after which we’ll move to the Capitol for afternoon appointments with legislators. There is no registration fee. Click here to register and to ensure that you receive the latest updates.  A lunch voucher will be provided for all who participate and travel stipends will be available subject to adequate funding.

Click here for more information and for assistance in making appointments with legislators – or call 1-800-539-2660.

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