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NAMI Advocates Mental Health In Alabama

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) are advocating for the governor and lawmakers approve of the $68 million for funding. Due to cuts in funds over the years, the NAMI wants to use the money as restoration.

NAMI also hopes to restore police training as well as 24/7 crisis center for those with mental health issues to be taken to. Jails often are equipped to handle those suffering from mental issues.

Around 30 percent of the inmates in Alabama prison suffer from mental illness. This was amongst the discussion when the NAMI met last week in Hoover. Since a majority of the hospitals that aided mental patients were closed, the wait time for those to seek help has drastically gone up.

President of NAMI, Jimmy Walsh, said, “It’s not right let out fellow citizens suffer in silence; we have to do more.”

The CIT was founded by Sam Cochran and is a program that trains police officers on how to handle the mentally ill. In a statement, he said, “We have too many people in the criminal justice system that shouldn’t be there. We have to come to terms with the complexity of mental illness.”

A 24/7 center for officers to take mentally ill patients would decrease the number of people who are thrown in jail instead of getting the help they need. It would also save time for officers. Advocates for the NAMI hope to make officer training mandatory throughout Alabama.

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