Focus on Advocacy – Story Jam Sessions, Office Holder Education, and Advocacy Messaging

By Pat Streeter, Carolanne Wartman, Autumn Walkerly, Annice Siders, Barb Higman, and Mark Creekmore

NAMI’s advocacy leadership team has great plans for 2021! Contact Mark ( if you want to join our team and help with these activities.

1. New Story Jam sessions are coming. Join us, tell your story, and learn how to help others in the Story Jam process, from start to finish. Story Jam is a time-tested workshop which has two sessions. The first session is a focus group for you to talk with your peers about an important issue, and the second is a training for you to tell an effective advocacy story. NAMI recently developed four stories to help pass the Ann Arbor City housing millage.

NAMI’s unique advocacy focus comes from lived experience about mental health conditions. We plan Story Jams on two big issues. One issue will be your experiences with primary care physicians and your mental health condition. The second issue will be your experiences with privacy about your mental health and the mental health conditions of your family. (Privacy is legally required by HIPAA and FERPA.) Join these two Story Jam workshops to become an advocate for better justice, health, and mental health services.

2. Join us for Office Holder Education. NAMI and a consortium of other agencies and advocates think that office holders need more education about justice and health/mental health. The recent election has shown how important these issues are. Help us plan and implement the education of Office Holders.

3. Improve our advocacy messaging. We need to communicate more and better in 2021.

  1. Write punchy educational “digests” (short summaries of meetings or events).
  2. Help to develop podcast interviews (short audio-recorded interviews of knowledgeable people about important mental health topics).
  3. You can help us in all phases, from interviewing, to editing, to analysis.
  4. Be a “witness” and a leader for justice, antiracism, and health/mental health services.
  5. Join the advocacy leader team.
  6. Develop creative posts for social media which engage people in learning and promoting mental health advocacy.

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