HCRS will be joining hundreds of Vermonters at the State House for Mental Health Advocacy Day on Tuesday, January 31. This rally, scheduled for 8:00 am – noon, is an opportunity to call on Vermont leaders and legislators to protect and strengthen the State’s community mental health care system. HCRS participation in this event will help to highlight the significant need for services in our communities.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont (NAMI Vermont), Vermont Care Partners, and the Vermont Association for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery (VAMHAR) have organized the event over the last two years bringing together 44 organizations and other stakeholders invested in Vermont’s mental health system of care.
The agenda includes a welcoming address from State leaders, opportunities for the public to interact with legislators, advocacy training, and shared stories from individuals who are affected by mental illness.
In Vermont approximately 125,000 people are affected by a range of mental health conditions – that’s 1 in 5 individuals. Nearly 1 in 20 adults live with a serious mental condition such as schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder. Most people living with a mental health condition lead fulfilling, productive lives, but only with access to treatment and community care.
“Mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disability services must be a priority. Our community mental health system has been underfunded for many years, and the need for services has increased dramatically,” says George Karabakakis, CEO.
Funding for and access to mental health services is more important now than ever. State leaders and legislators must take action on mental health care policies to improve the system of care and ensure increased funding in order to meet these rising needs.