The Policy Unit publishes blogs, and the Road to Recovery Campaign, that discusses specific pieces of legislation that pertain to behavioral health and provides testimony before the New Jersey Legislature. In addition, a candidate survey on issues pertinent to behavioral health is mailed to all candidates and the responses from candidates are posted to the website. NCAAR-BH has produced a health care reform series, numerous in-depth primers detailing problems and providing research on potential solutions.
Policy staff and volunteers also strive toward common goals through working in coalitions with like minded organizations. Most recently, we have joined with Open Society Foundations in an effort to decriminalize illicit substances in NJ. In the past, we have partnered with NJ Citizen Action to introduce a verbal substance screening tool in to the state’s high schools, the NJ Mental Health Association on integrating mental health and substance misuse therapy and convening the NJ Parity Coalition to enhance insurance coverage for people seeking behavioral health treatment.
In 2008, NCAAR-BH developed the Advocacy Leadership Program, through which an addictions issues constituency has been built. The program now has over 1000 members representing 38 of the state’s 40 legislative districts. The Advocacy Leadership Program and the overall advocacy efforts of the Unit have made great use of social media tools including Facebook and Twitter.