We need your help. Today American mental health services are funded through a patchwork of government and private insurance – and increasingly from our pockets. Yet, the health care environment is changing dramatically with enrollment for new health insurance options coming in October, 2013. The new health insurance marketplace plans and Medicaid expansion are the best opportunity states have to deliver mental health care to millions of uninsured and under-insured people with mental health conditions.

Most Americans have no idea what this means for them. One of the many challenges is that nearly half of the public, including people taking the NAMI Family-to-Family classes, don’t realize what the Affordable Care Act means for them. Most don’t realize that healthcare reform makes the mental health parity that we fought so hard to achieve much stronger. Many also don’t realize that their families will now qualify for good health insurance at little or no cost.

Roll up your sleeves and get the word out. To make sure people with mental illness and their families are not left behind, NAMI has prepared Coverage for Care: What’s at Stake? a toolkit with slides, user-friendly handouts and a script, to educate people attending your classes or even at your NAMI Affiliate meetings on mental health coverage in general and to make sure they have correct, up-to-date information on new coverage opportunities. We want to share this toolkit with you and talk with you about ways in which you can use the materials to help NAMI spread the word with facts about the Affordable Care Act and what it means for us.