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  1. Mental health advocacy day was a huge success!

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    We had a great day in Richmond advocating for improvements to Virginia’s mental health system. Thanks to all who came to Richmond and made the day a success! The Campaign for Children’s Mental Health, Voices for Virginia’s Children and NAMI Virginia organized a legislative breakfast in the General Assembly Building. It was a chance for nearly 200 advocates to come together to share their experiences with their legislators. Quite a few legislators spoke to our advocates about their commitment to improving Virginia’s mental health system. In case you missed it, here is our handout on children’s mental health priorities.

    Legislators who stopped by the breakfast included Senator Favola, and Delegates Krupicka, BaCote, Watts, Plum, Dance, Futrell, Ingram, Morrissey, Bulova, DeSteph, Greason, Hodges, Keam, McQuinn, Yost, Filler-Corn, Taylor, as well as the legislative assistants of many others. Special thanks to Senator Howell and Delegate Yost who spoke about Mental Health Advocacy Day and welcomed advocates in the galleries during session.

    We also received media coverage of the day:

    Read coverage from the Daily Press and the Washington Post here.

    For those who attended, don’t forget to write a thank you note to the legislators or aides with whom you met. A hand-written note is most effective because it shows you took time, and it will stand out from all the other type-written letters they get. If you need to look up the contact info for your legislators, go here  for the delegates and here for the senators. Click on the their names to get their address at the Capitol. The address on the envelope should read, The Honorable John C. Watkins (for example), and the salutation on the letter should read, Dear Senator Watkins.

    It would be helpful to remind them briefly of the content of your conversation—at this point they may not remember that they met with you about children’s mental health! The handout on children’s mental health priorities is here to help you.

    For more pictures of the day, please go to the Campaign Facebook page!

    Above: Del. Vivian Watts talks about why sharing personal stories is important. Dels. Futrell, Dance and Hodges, along with advocates, listen.