In February, 2014 several members of the NAMI community stood beside Governor Walker as he signed seven important mental health bills into law. Before the signing, the Governor visited NAMI Brown County to tour the house, learn about NAMI programs and chat with us about mental health. In particular, we discussed the need to devote more attention and resources toward fighting the stigma of mental illness. Governor Walker mentioned that when people live with other chronic illnesses (using his wife, Tonette, who lives with diabetes as an example), they receive support and comfort, not shame or embarrassment. Our response should be no different when someone experiences mental illness.
The Governor also emphasized that although this legislation is a significant step in a very promising direction, it should not be a "one-time photo op," but rather a continual investment in mental health services and stigma reduction. We were encouraged to hear an interest in maintaining the current momentum and honored to be part of this historic moment for Wisconsinites affected by mental illness!
For details on the bills that were signed, please visit: http://walker.wi.gov/newsroom/press-release/governor-scott-walker-signs-mental-health-legislation-improve-enhance