September 19, 2019
“Be strong, be loud, and be assertive for those you serve… We are in a fight to defend and protect critical behavioral health programs.”
– Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-6) during her address to Hill Day attendees
This week, the AATA joined the National Council of Behavioral Health and over 600 mental health advocates for Hill Day 2019! The advocacy training was packed with strategies, tips, and inspirational moments preparing advocates for meetings with their elected officials the following day. The National Council also released polling data showing strong bipartisan support for increased mental health and addiction treatment funding, particularly as we enter the next election year.
A bipartisan majority of voters are more likely to vote for a candidate in 2020 who promised to do more to address mental health and addiction. Nearly a quarter (24%) of Republicans and more than a third (39%) of Democrats are much more likely to vote for a candidate committed to addressing mental health issues.
Cynthia Woodruff, AATA Executive Director, with Chuck Ingoglia, National Council for Behavioral Health President and CEO in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
We were proud to advocate for improved mental and behavioral health policies alongside partner organizations including American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, American Counseling Association, Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and National Association of Social Workers, and many more! This was also a great opportunity for us as we informed lawmakers and partner organizations about art therapy and our own advocacy efforts for state licensure.
This year’s Hill Day focused on five critical issues (click links for detailed asks):
- Substance Use and Mental Health Appropriations
- Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act
- Mental Health Access Improvement Act
- Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act
- Medicaid Reentry Act
Download this Talking Points Cheat Sheet to learn more!
Scroll down for more pictures, and explore highlights on social media using #HillDay19 and #Unite4BH!
Cynthia Woodruff with Representatives Gwen Moore (D-WI), 2019 Legislator of the Year
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), 2019 Behavioral Health Champion
Cynthia Woodruff and Clara Keane, AATA’s Manager of Advocacy and Public Affairs