State Advocacy Toolk

can make a difference!

Are you concerned that the coming round of state and local budget cuts will mean fewer mental health and school services for our children with emotional and behavioral disorders? You are not alone. But you can do something about it.

CHADD has joined together with some of our colleague organizations here in Washington to develop tools that you can use to contact local and state policy makers. Most recently we have developed a cover letter and a fact sheet on the importance of safeguarding mental health services for children in the face of unprecedented state budget cuts. Please feel free to send the attached documents to your state legislator, governor, or any other public official.

State Advocacy Toolkit 2011

Download Letter to Legislators
Download Children’s Mental Health Fact Sheet

Download complete 2007 State Advocacy Toolkit (PDF 191KB)

Legislation has been introduced in several states that suggests that AD/HD is not real. Some proposed laws would restrict open communication between families and schools about concerns related to mental health. Others threaten to interfere with identifying children with mental disorders and linking them with services. Groups with a history of attacking mental health care often promote such legislation.

Your voice is needed to help protect the rights of all individuals with mental health treatment needs. You are the person legislators most want to hear from, because you can describe to them how a policy or law actually affects people with AD/HD and related disorders.

A national coalition of parents, educators, mental health professionals, and physicians developed the State Advocacy Toolkit to help educate state lawmakers about mental health in America. CHADD, as a member organization, is pleased to share this toolkit for you to download and share with others in your state and local community.

Download Toolkit by section:
     Introductory Letter from Coalition Partners (PDF)
     Tips on Effective State Legislative Advocacy (PDF)
     Sample Anti-Mental Health and Anti-Psychiatry State Legislation (PDF)
     Letters to Legislators and Governors
          Utah HB202 Letter (PDF)
          Florida SB2286 Letter (PDF)
          New Hampshire HB164 Letter (PDF)
     Sample Opinion Letters and Letters to the Editors
          Utah HB202 Op-Ed on Teacher-Parent Communication (PDF)
          Utah HB299 Op-Ed - Look to Science, Not Science Fiction (PDF)
          Sample Op-Ed (PDF)
     Fact Sheets 
          Helpful Ways for School Professionals and Families to Talk about Mental Health Related Concerns (PDF)
          Improving the Mental Health and Well-Being of America's Children (PDF)
          Schools and Families United for the Mental Health and Well-Being of Children (PDF)

Sample Anti-Mental Health and Anti-Psychiatry Legislation
Arizona SB1248
     Florida SB2286
     New Hampshire HB164
     New York A3795
     Utah HB202
     Utah HB299

Coalition Partners

The Balanced Mind Parent Network