The NAMI-NYC Advocacy Ambassador program provides families and individuals impacted by mental illness with the skills and training needed to meet with elected officials and create change in their communities.
Sharing your lived experience with an elected official in your area is an important way to make a difference in the life of your loved one or yourself. Meeting with policymakers gives you the opportunity to directly voice your concerns, and shows legislators that voters care about improving the lives of families and individuals impacted by mental illness. By getting involved in mental health advocacy work with NAMI-NYC, you can help shape legislation and build power in the NYC mental health community.
Ambassadors participate in a training series that teaches best practices for meeting with elected officials and building the relationships required to achieve policy wins. After their training, Advocacy Ambassadors will be champions for policy that impacts the mental health of New Yorkers in their communities, and working together with NAMI-NYC staff, will be responsible for making sure elected officials in their area are informed about and supportive of important mental health issues. Ambassadors are also dedicated to building grassroots power by assisting friends, family, and other community members with contacting their own elected officials, and explaining the importance of supporting policies that will allow families and individuals impacted by mental illness to live their best lives.
Ambassadors assemble on a quarterly basis for our General Body Meetings, with optional subcommittee meetings in the issue areas of increasing access to healthcare, education, and decriminalizing mental illness. Subcommittee meetings are an opportunity for Ambassadors to build subject matter expertise in a policy area they are passionate about, all the while building community.