NAMI Alabama
Thursday, April 15, 2021

News & Articles

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Guest Editorial: Behavioral health is essential to overall health

Lynn Beshear, Commissioner of the Dept. of Mental Health

(Source: WSFA News)

This September we celebrate Recovery Month, it’s annual event, but one we can encourage and observe every day.

The Alabama Department of Mental Health celebrates this event, along with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The goal is to increase awareness and address is understandings about mental illness and substance use disorders. We also want to promote this message; behavioral health is essential to our overall health.

Stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders often prevents a person or their loved ones from seeking help or even talking about it. But low to no cost treatment is available in our state and recovery is possible.

Mental illness and substance use disorders affects everyone, everywhere. There are very few families untouched by these issues. Help is available. Individuals can get better, both physically and emotionally, with the support of a welcoming community.

ADMH’s Division of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services, in partnership with community providers and advocacy groups, will showcase rallies, fun runs, open houses and many other events throughout the month. Together we can help others realize the promise of recovery and give families the information and support to help their loved ones. The great news is that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people do recover.


Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.



Parity at Risk

The federal government has proposed changes that threaten insurance protections for people with mental illness.

On June 13, NAMI released a new report, Mental Health Parity at Risk, that looks at mental health and substance use coverage before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and shows just how dangerous it could be to remove these protections for people with mental health and substance use conditions.

Weakening health insurance protections could take us back to a time when:

  • People were denied health insurance, charged more or turned down for renewal just because they had a mental health or substance use condition;
  • People had yearly or lifetime limits on mental health and substance use care; and
  • Over half of states had no requirement that individual market plans cover or even offer mental health services.

Before the ACA, people with mental illness often faced a 20-50% increase in premiums. And when they could get insurance, they often faced limits on outpatient visits, yearly or lifetime caps on coverage and limited access to mental health medications.

We cannot go back to a time when it was legal to discriminate against people with mental health and substance use conditions.


Tell us your story. Help power NAMI’s advocacy by sharing how your insurance coverage helps you—or tell us about challenges you’ve experienced that have hurt your ability to get mental health care. Read NAMI’s latest report as a reminder of why #WeCantGoBack and share how insurance coverage helps you. #Act4MentalHealth

Serving Safely Launch - May 24, 2018

NAMI is pleased to announce the launch of Serving Safely, a national initiative to help police and sheriffs’ departments effectively respond to mental health crises. Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, “Serving Safely: The National Initiative to Enhance Policing for Persons with Mental Illnesses and Developmental Disabilities” will be a one-stop shop for communities—specifically law enforcement agencies—to request training and technical assistance. Through the initiative’s work, law enforcement agencies will be better prepared to interact with people experiencing mental illness or developmental disabilities and their families. NAMI will partner with the DOJ and several other organizations to develop new resources to support communities and develop a plan to guide research on mental illness and the justice system.

When is a health care provider allowed to share mental health information? - May 24, 2018

Find out in this new HIPAA FAQ by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Navigating A Mental Health Crisis


Download The Guide

When mental illness is present, the potential for crisis is never far from mind. Crisis episodes related to mental illness can feel incredibly overwhelming. There’s the initial shock, followed by a flood of questions—the most prominent of which is: “What can we do?”

People experiencing mental illness—and the people who care for them—need information. However, that information is not always readily available and the search for answers may require more energy and persistence than possible in times of crisis.

"Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency" (Crisis Guide) provides important, potentially life-saving information for people experiencing mental health crises and their loved ones. This guide outlines what can contribute to a crisis, warning signs that a crisis is emerging, strategies to help de-escalate a crisis, available resources and so much more.

Getting Answers When You Need Them

Like any other health crisis, it’s important to address a mental health emergency quickly and effectively. With mental health conditions, crises can be difficult to predict because, often, there are no warning signs. Crises can occur even when treatment plans have been followed and mental health professionals are involved. Unfortunately, unpredictability is the nature of mental illness.

Unlike other health emergencies, people experiencing mental health crises often don’t receive instructions or materials on what to expect after the crisis. That is why we created this guide, so people experiencing mental health emergencies and their loved ones can have the answers and information they need when they need it. In the pages of our Crisis Guide, you’ll find:

  • Understanding mental health crises
  • Preparing for a crisis
  • What to do during a crisis
  • What to do following a crisis
  • A sample crisis plan

Share With Your Community

We encourage sharing these tools and resources in local communities, specifically with those who are most likely to be in contact with people experiencing a mental health emergency, like:

  • Emergency departments
  • Law enforcement officials
  • Primary care physicians
  • Court clerks where involuntary commitment processes are initiated
  • Anywhere a person in crisis might be seen for the first time

A Portable Treatment Record from the Crisis Guide is available for download and use to begin creating your personal crisis plan.

You can also download the following infographics. They cover warning signs, what to do if you expect someone is thinking about suicide and how to prepare for a crisis. These printable resources are a great way to spread awareness about what to do in a crisis.

Or download all five by clicking this image:

Why ADAP works with youth involved in our state's juvenile justice systems: Youth detained in juvenile detention and correctional facilities experience mental health disorders at a rate *3X higher* than the general population.
Watch and share this recent SAMHSA panel discussion which explores this phenomenon and the evidence-based practices, including Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), that law enforcement can use to support youth with mental health needs they encounter.
"Diverting to Treatment: Community Policing and Supporting Youth with Mental Health Needs"
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Alabama's mental health system is in shambles

Birmingham Parent
September 2016
AFT - Protecting your Assets for your Special Needs Child's Future

NAMI Alabama received the NAMI State Outstanding Award for 2016 during the NAMI Convention in Denver, CO!

Outstanding State Organization Award video

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Alabama has been selected as the NAMI "Outstanding State Organization" for 2016.

The Outstanding State Organization Award is given to recognize exceptional efforts on the state level in carrying out the NAMI mission as defined by the NAMI Standard of Excellence. The Alabama office was recognized for its board leadership, governance and being a leader in their advocacy effort.


Montgomery Advertiser
Thursday, March 31, 2016
NAMI releases annual Alabama mental health care report