Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association
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Make your voice heard on Capitol Hill
PRA continues to work with our colleague organizations in the Washington, DC area and beyond to join the chorus of opposition to federal legislative efforts that would reduce funding for SAMHSA, eliminate important consumer-based programs, and expand authorities for involuntary commitment. View our official statement on the proposed legislation.
Join PRA in Washington, DC for Hill Day: June 6-7, 2016!
We invite you to lend your voice to PRA Advocacy by joining us for Hill Day 2016. We are proud to partner again this year with National Council, NAMI, Mental Health America, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, International Bipolar Foundation, Legal Action Center, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy, NAADAC the Association for Addiction Professionals, Faces and Voices of Recovery, and other leaders in our community to present a united voice on key policy issues. We encourage you to join us to send a positive message to Congress about the importance of key programs for mental and behavioral health and to oppose legislation that would stop our progress in its tracks. Registration for this event is complimentary.
Capitol Hill Day is an important step in pursuing our legislative priorities and funding for recovery-oriented practice. Over 500+ behavioral health executives, administrators, board members, consumers, and community stakeholders will participate to make a difference. Your advocacy efforts matter — face-to-face interactions between legislators and constituents are one of the most powerful ways to impact public policy. Past Hill Day attendees have helped to:
- Preserve Medicaid against a series of threats during deficit reduction negotiations.
- Sign on 17 Senate and 29 House cosponsors for legislation to extend federal health IT incentive payments to behavioral health providers and organizations.
- Win support for bills to expand the behavioral health system’s capacity and promote public education about mental illness and addictions.
No. Each state has a State Captain who will be your point of contact and who will coordinate the Hill visits for you and your fellow attendees from your state.
- In some states, the State Captain will set up all Hill visits and notify attendees so they can RSVP.
- In other states, attendees schedule their own meetings and notify the State Captain so that he or she can help other attendees know which meetings to attend.
- Either way, please reach out to your State Captain to let them know you’re coming to Hill Day and learn how the process will work. You’ll find details on how to contact your State Captain in your registration profile once you’ve registered for Hill Day.
How do I go about setting up my meetings?
First, contact your State Captain to let them know you will be attending and find out whether they are coordinating your state delegation’s Hill visits. If your State Captain asks attendees to set up their own visits, use this page as a guide to get started.
MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENTS FOR HILL VISITS
The National Council encourages participants to schedule at least three visits on October 6th, 2015: one with each of your Senators and one with your district’s Representative in the House. You may also want to schedule an appointment with the Washington, D.C. branch of your Governor’s office. In addition, the National Council may ask you to participate in a targeted visit to a member of Congress who sits on a committee of strategic importance to our legislative goals.
Here’s what you need to do to set up appointments for Hill Day:
- Call the offices of your elected officials to arrange your meetings for June.Click here to find the contact information for your elected officials.
- When calling, identify yourself, including the name of the organization you represent and where you are located, and ask to speak with the health legislative assistant.
- Specify that the purpose of your meeting is to discuss “federal health care policy affecting people with mental illnesses and addictions and the community providers who serve them.”
- If you have a relationship with the member of Congress and believe you can obtain an audience with him or her personally, don’t hesitate to ask.
- Some offices may ask that you put your meeting request in writing. Use our sample meeting request letter.
- During the conversation, establish a date and meeting time.
- Be flexible — Congressional staff schedules are busy, so take whatever time is offered – morning or afternoon – so long as the time does not conflict with your other appointments. An ideal window of time to schedule is between 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.
- Make sure to leave plenty of time between Senate and House visits, as it takes about 20 minutes to walk from the Senate side to the House side of Capitol Hill. If possible, try to schedule your Senate meetings together and House meetings together.
- When you have confirmed your Hill appointments, please record them with your Hill Day registration. This is important so National Council staff can help with critical preparation and follow-up.
For additional information, see the National Council's tips for successful Hill Day meetings.
Questions and more information. Please contact the PRA public policy team at 703.442.2078 with questions and information requests.