Category Archives: Advocacy

Advocacy – North Reading & Wilmington

Here is some Middlesex County specific information to inform our members:

There is an amendment pending on the Criminal Justice Reform bill that would establish a Restoration Center pilot program in Middlesex County. The proposed 24-hour center would provide specialized crisis services specifically for mental health, substance use, and related issues where police officers could drop off an individual, explain the situation to a clinician, and know that the person will get the care they need – including the possibility of staying for a few days to stabilize.  FACT SHEET

Constituents of Senator Bruce Tarr – including our North Reading and Wilmington members – can help move this process forward.  MORE INFO

Mental Health on College Campuses

At the NAMI National Convention in June 2017  this report – in the works by the National Council on Disability – was announced.  You will likely have read press reports about it during the late summer.  Use the link above to find the full report of recommendations for Congress, federal agencies, and colleges to improve college mental health services and post-educational outcomes for students with mental health disabilities.

Will you be motivated to reach out to your alma mater, your child’s college/university or a college or university local to you about how they will address these recommendations?

National Suicide Prevention Week Social Messages

Today is the first day of National Suicide Prevention Week! The American Foundation for Suicide prevention has a special theme and hashtag for each day. To kick things off, today’s theme is #MondayMotivation! Click the link below to see what motivates some of the people in our community to stop suicide…then please share what motivates you on social media using the hashtags #MondayMotivation and #StopSuicide!

Join #MondayMotivation  Let’s get motivated! Together, we can make a difference.


NAMI Mass Opposes Recreational Marijuana Ballot Initiative

This fall, Massachusetts voters will likely have the opportunity to vote on whether the sale of marijuana for recreational use should be legalized in the Commonwealth. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Massachusetts states its strong opposition to this ballot question because the legalization of recreational marijuana will have detrimental effects for those with mental illness and for people predisposed to mental illness.

Click here to read the NAMI Mass position paper in full: CLICK

What Progress at Bridgewater?

Advocates are concerned that there have been no substantive changes at Bridgewater State Hospital (BSH). Some families and patients report that mistreatment and abuse continues.

Two years ago the Globe Spotlight Team’s Michael Rezendes revealed conditions at Bridgewater State Hospital that led to the death of Joshua Messier and a $3M settlement. At the same time, several other cases of gross mistreatment were settled out of court.

BSH is a medium security prison managed by the Department of Corrections, with privatized for profit medical and mental health care provided by a Virginia-based company.

In December 2015, a new monitor at BSH was appointed for two years as part of an agreement between the Patrick Administration and the Disability Law Center (DLC). DLC opened an office at BSH to oversee conditions. DLC wants to hear from people who may have a loved one (currently or recently) at BSH. DLC is also seeking conversations with people were committed civilly to BSH since January 2015.

Please join us at the Cambridge Main Library on April 7 for an update on the BSH status, starting at 5pm. The formal presentation begins at 6:15 and lasts until 6:45pm. A discussion with the audience will last from 6:45 until 8:15pm. An RSVP is requested by April 1 if you plan to arrive at 5pm, when light refreshments will be served. (See flyer for more information.)

Click here for more information about parking and transportation.

The original DLC report from July 2014 can be found at

The settlement memo from January 23, 2015 can be found at