07 Aug NAMI Seattle Candidate Forum
On September 3rd NAMI Seattle will host a mental health forum with the candidates for Seattle’s upcoming city council elections. As the state of Washington moves to make mental illness and mental health care a priority, we as members of the mental health community need to be included in the conversation on the specific needs of those impacted by mental illness. Through our stories and experiences, we can ensure that changes in the mental health system here in Seattle and King County are reflective of our needs and values in seeking effective resources for recovery.
Far too often, public policy is crafted by those with good intentions for those affected by mental illness, but without the perspectives and experiences of those who fight every day to obtain effective and appropriate services in their pursuit of meaningful recovery. We need to tell candidates that recovery requires more than just new institutions and vague policy. We need recovery-focused protections for housing, employment, criminal justice, youth mental health services, and compassionate crisis intervention. Your voice is so important in reminding our elected officials that the consequences of inaction and ineffective policy are unacceptable. Now is the time to demand action.
In order to bring a compelling message to the candidates, NAMI Seattle is requesting six individuals who have been affected by mental illness to speak for two minutes each about their experiences. Peers, family members, and caregivers are strongly encouraged to participate. Following these short narratives, the moderator will ask the entire candidate field a series of questions specifically relating to mental health reform in Seattle. Following the moderator’s questions, audience members will be able to ask prepared questions directly to the candidates in their district.
We at NAMI Seattle hope you can attend this year’s forum. Now is the time for us to raise our voices for compassionate and effective mental health care in Seattle. We will build this movement together, and make our voices heard.
If you are interested in speaking at this year’s forum, please contact Jeremiah Bainbridge.