Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My open Letter to NAMI in asking support in #ShatteringSilence

Dear NAMI and NAMI supporters.

As a dedicated NAMI member/volunteer for over 15-years, I have written many letters to NAMI (national) requesting they not forget the 4%, (those too ill to voluntarily advocate for themselves). However, in NAMI’s recent newsletter highlighting the celebration of the passage of the 21st Century Cures ACT, there was no mention of AOT.

We need our national voice to stand up for these illnesses as “physical illnesses of the brain” … not “behavioral conditions” of the mind!

Advocates like myself believe that there must be no hesitation in explaining directives to local and state NAMI affiliates on the effectiveness of AOT. Additionally, NAMI’s (national) recent release of their 2017 Priorities, failed to include many of the priorities that the 4% and their families need. Messages matter and NAMI’s communications signaled to us that evidence based programs - that we believe to be life saving programs for our loved ones - are not being prioritized by NAMI (national).

Consequently, we have started an online petition campaign to request that NAMI decide who they are advocating for … those well enough to realize they have a mental health “condition” as they call it, or “all” individuals and families who are suffering with serious brain diseases. Yes, awareness/stigma campaigns are good and early interventions are all helpful, "but" these are not the reasons the sickest among us do not receive the care they need before tragedy!

I urge you to watch this video, read our letters and sign our #ShatteringSilence petition. We request you also share it with your friends, family and list serves.


We are asking for all national organizations to #LobbyLoud for solutions before the police are called – not after! We need better policies that don't force our loved ones to become violent in order to gain access to #abedinstead!

We believe patients in crisis deserve the “right to treatment”, not the right to sabotaged their life and die … and should be evaluated and treated by “licensed” medical professionals - not law enforcement, jailers or attorneys in the criminal justice system.

We appreciate your help and signature!

Sincerely, G.G. Burns
NAMI Member (2002-2017)
AOT/Mental Health Reform Advocate
Please help us pass "Tim's Law" in 2017

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