Annie Slease, Director of Advocacy & Education for National Alliance on Mental Illness in Delaware (NAMI Delaware) discussed recent legislative achievements in mental health advocacy, including the implementation of the National 3-digit emergency number, 988. She explained that 911 was not appropriate for non-immediate danger situations, yet there was no alternative other than individual hotlines and the national suicide-prevention line. By dialing 988 you will be connected to a mental health professional in your area. In Delaware House Bills 100 and 300 put more school mental health professionals into elementary and middle schools and HB 301 brings mental health curriculum education to public school classrooms. We discussed House Bill 476, which provides for the removal of public/online postings of gold alerts within 72 hours of locating the individual.
Gold alerts are issued for people in distress or at risk who have gone missing – before this resolution old alerts remained online indefinitely, allowing schools and potential employers, as well as the general public, the ability to see the information posted.
Finally she spoke about a major success, HB 303 provides for annual wellness checks to be covered by insurance.
For more information about NAMI, its resources and peer programming, as well as its upcoming conferences and seminars, including a Faith Conferences August 27 and September 17th and its NAMI SMARTS advocacy workshop for volunteers September 13 and their ongoing recruitment campaign go to NAMIDE.org